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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My neighborhood bears

As if you haven't seen enough bears on this blog already, here is the full cast of characters -- the bears in my neighborhood.

I've gotten to know them pretty well, and this shows how I tell them apart. 

Like people, they get a bit gnarly looking with age.

So, they are easier to identify when they get old.

My estimates of age are based on body size and photos of two of these critters taken some years ago.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, here are some useful references.

Alt, G.L. 1980. Rate of growth and size of Pennsylvania black bears. Pennsylvanian Game News, 51(12)7-17.

Marks, S.A. and A.W. Erickson. 1966. Age determination in the black bear. Journal of Wildlife Management, 30:389-410.

Rausch, R.L.. 1961. Notes on the black bear in Alaska with particular referecne to dentition and growth. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde, 26(2):65-128.


Woody Meristem said...

Good guidance for other folks to use in trying to distinguish the bears they get on camera. Almost all of the adult bears I've gotten on camera traps are easily distinguished, the cubs and second year animals are another story.

joellenarnold said...

I love learning about your bears. How far from your home is this little water hole? Just curious (like the bears).

Camera Trap Codger said...

Joellem, actually the neighborhood is quite large, but these bears walk right past the house on their way to the garbage cans.

Trailblazer said...

Probably safe to say one can never have enough bears on a blog :)

Great stuff as always, Codger.

Joe said...

I wonder if I post too many bears also but then I think who really gets tired of bears :).

Camera Trap Codger said...

Agreed, it's easy to get hooked on them.

randomtruth said...

Such great footage and info. Really helpful for building the gestalt for figuring out other bear's age and gender. Well done.