|Press Releases | Search DNR | DNR Home|
Black Bear Activity Increases with Cooler Weather
ANNAPOLIS, MD - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Marylanders that cooling temperatures and falling leaves means black bears will begin a period of heavy feeding and increased activity in preparation for hibernation. Often, bears actively searching for food will take advantage of human-provided food sources such as garbage, pet food and birdfeeders. Bears exploiting human-provided food sources may lose their natural fear of people potentially leading to dangerous encounters and conflicts.
Citizens are urged to avoid inviting unwanted bears by storing garbage and pet food in a manner that will not attract the animals. Likewise, citizens are encouraged to delay feeding songbirds until December, after most bears have entered their den for the season. Black bear research has shown that most of Marylandís bears begin occupying dens in mid-November and that most are denned by mid-December.
According to the annual mast survey conducted throughout Marylandís bear range, natural food supplies such as acorns and hickory nuts are scarce throughout Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties. As a result, bears will have to work harder this fall to acquire the fat reserves they need to sustain themselves during winter hibernation. Research has shown that during periods of natural food scarcity bears are more likely to be drawn to human-provided food sources. All citizens living in Marylandís black bear habitat areas should take precautions to prevent bears from accessing and becoming habituated to any human-related food sources.
To learn more about Marylandís black bears, visit DNRís website at www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/.
September 27, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov