While hiking to one of our #LARWMP sites in the Angeles National Forest, our monitoring team came across trash cans that were seemingly opened by an animal. We assumed a raccoon was the culprit, but on the hike back, we spotted a mother black bear and her cubs climbing the mountain opposite of us! Last weekend, the team encountered the bears again, but this time, they were much closer and approached the very populated trailhead. While the team remained unharmed, this got us thinking, what do you do when encountering a bear? How do we ensure that we, and the bears, remain unharmed? This week’s #SummerScienceFriday is your chance to learn all about black bears: where they live, how they live, and most importantly, how to stay safe when you run into one!
All About Black Bears
Black bears are commonly found in North America and range from Alaska and Canada down into northern Mexico. Currently, their population is estimated at around 750,000, with at least 30,000 living in California. According to the IUCN Red List, black bears are a species of least concern, and their population has been increasing due to more restrictive hunting laws (1). Male black bears typically weigh 200-500 pounds