The month of July ended with the Nevada Department of Wildlife dealing with 20 black bears in the 31 days of the month.
“That is a faster than normal pace,” says NDOW biologist Carl Lackey, “but it is really the calm before the storm with potential nuisance bear activity in western Nevada. This is the time of year that the bears expand their search for food and during that search bears and the activities of people often come in to conflict. August, September and October should be very busy with our bears.
“Twenty bears is more than normal. July was declared Bear LOGIC month to raise awareness of human responsibility not to attract bears into trouble.”
Fourteen of the bears handled were safely released back in to the wild. Four of the bears were hit and killed by cars, one was euthanized for public safety reasons and one was euthanized for depredating upon livestock.
“Even though the observance of Bear LOGIC month is officially over, the reasons for humans trying to think like a bear are still valid,” says NDOW public information officer Chris Healy. “Over the next three months bears will be a part of the western Nevada landscape. If people want to keep them alive and wild then they will have to do all they can not to attract them and that means managing attractants like garbage, fruit trees and bird feeders.
“The pace of bear activity and the sightings of those bears along the edges of western Nevada’s cities are only going to increase as summer rolls towards fall. We are not trying to create panic by advising people of these potential bear encounters. We are trying to create tolerance amongst people living in these urban interface areas. They need to be bear aware and do what they can to keep bears alive and wild. Part of that responsibility means managing fruit crops and the weekly trash better.”
“The bears are nocturnal, and a bunch of trash cans left out overnight is a strong attractant and way too easy a meal for the bears. Add the attraction of ripened fruit and you can almost guarantee a visit from a bear in your neighborhood.”
Persons needing to report nuisance bear activity can call the NDOW’s Bear Hotline telephone number at (775) 688-BEAR (2327). For information on living with bears persons can go to www.ndow.org and find the ”Bear Logic” page on the web.