By now, most bears will have entered their dens for a long winter’s rest. Bear dens, in fact, can be more than just a hole in the ground. The Berenstain Bear’s tree house paints a humanized picture of bear habitat, but it’s closer to reality than you might think. Bears have developed extremely resourceful and diverse strategies for staying safe during their winter nap.
Recent research at the Aleza Lake, John Prince and Alex Fraser Research Forests looked at the range of black bear dens found in each of these areas. Researchers Dexter Hodder (John Prince Research Forest) and Roy Rea (University of Northern BC) surveyed three types of dens in BC’ s central interior: rock dens, excavated dens, and, yes, tree dens. The purpose of the study was to relate den type with likely forest management activities, and to develop recommendations to promote den protection.
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