Saturday, November 17, 2007

Moose Develop Innovative Birthing Strategies in Response to Grizzly Population Boom

A recent rise in the grizzly bear population of Yellowstone, bringing them out of the realm of being endangered, has led to an interesting habit of pregnant female moose. Over the past few years, as grizzlys became more numerous, park rangers began to notice more and more females give birth to young within a relatively short distance of the few roads that run through the massive national park. Joel Berger of the Wildlife Conservation Society did his own study of the situation, tracking the roaming habits of moose that had, or were about to have, offspring. He found that those that lived in areas with a high bear population tended to wander much closer to roads than those that lived where there were fewer bears. His theory is that moose mothers that have had their children preyed on by grizzly bears have learned of the bears' fear of roads, a fear that park rangers have devised means to encourage throughout the years in order to avoid bear-human confrontations. So, in essence, the moose are using people as a tool to avoid grizzlys. Savvy.

Posted by Jeff Smith


At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Chris Kennedy said...

It is interesting to see how animals are adapting to use unnatural elements in there habitat. Your article was well done. It's weird that the moose don't have the same fear for the roads as the grizzly bears, but that is probably because the roads help the moose from being eaten, while the road would just lead to deaths amongst the grizzlies.

-Chris Kennedy

At 4:49 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I think that your post was very relevant to the things we've been learning about and it's interesting to watch the moose adapt. In response to your paper and Chris's comment, I think it would be intersting to find out exactly why the moose have no trouble being by the road while the bears do, even though Chris's hypothesis seems valid.

You did a good job being clear and concise and picked a good topic.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Posted By: Natalie Nicholson

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Not sure if it matters, but I posted on the same subject several weeks ago. I have noticed multiple posts about cannibal polar bears as well, so maybe it is no big deal.

At 12:21 AM, Blogger PWH said...

This is very interesting! It's the first instance i've ever heard of animals using humans as a way to adapt to their environment.

posted by Kayla Carrero


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