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bear harassment

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Re: bear harassment

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:47 pm

Hi MK

The last time I was in DB Basin coming over an un-named pass from Observation
Lakes Basin I saw several bear, and mountain lion prints in the corridor descending
into DB Basin, but did not see either animal while there.



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Re: bear harassment

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:10 pm

Mountain lion? Now that's a real surprise (to me)...
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Re: bear harassment

Postby gdurkee » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:11 am

The bears go up there (probably from Palisade Creek) to hunt frogs in a couple of the remaining frog lakes. Very cool. Also extremely cool about the Mountain Lion tracks -- wonder what they were doing there? About 10 years ago, they were expanding out of Round Valley (north of Bishop) when the deer herd crashed. Several had collars so it was possible to actually track them. That's when a few of them started hunting Bighorn Sheep more aggressively, moving into their high-elevation habitat.

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Re: bear harassment

Postby rlown » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:48 pm

I guess all we need now is a Tiger.. Lions, Tigers and Bears, oh my..

Probably need to sleep in a newfangled carbon-fiber 20lb sleep shelter for that!
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Re: bear harassment

Postby richlong8 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:19 pm

G.Durkee: your comments and observations are very comprehensive and interesting.
I never would have thought of bears being in the Dumbbell basin, but why not? I would not think that they would be "camp" bears. It is my understanding that bears have a wide range of territory they cover, so they can stay fed, unless humans screw up and feed them. Then they stick around the food source.
Mountain lions- I think there are many, many lions out there. We just don't see them often, only their scat, and tracks. If there are deer in the Dumbbells, it is logical to assume that lions might be in that area, looking for a venison meal. I never have been up there to the Dumbbell basin, only on the Muir trail. I think I will try and get up there some time.
I think most of those lakes up there have fish.
Does anyone out there know if bears have contributed to the decline of the frogs? I had never heard they ate frogs. Interesting posts....

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Re: bear harassment

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:45 pm

Its amazing to me how beautiful the pictures are that ya'll submit in these posts. I love richlong8's picture above. Its like I'm there, in the summer, taking it all in...
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Re: bear harassment

Postby Cross Country » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:16 pm

Our Dumbbell trip was my favorite for a combination of reason. While there I looked around and didn't see any traces of bears. We got there early in the day from Amp. L. This gave me time to look around carefully.

Observation Peak.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby rlown » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:19 pm

richlong8 wrote: Does anyone out there know if bears have contributed to the decline of the frogs? I had never heard they ate frogs. Interesting posts....


Bears did not contribute to the decline of frogs. They eat frogs/tadpoles, but they eat anything. There aren't enough bear to explain amphibian loss. Frog decline is squarely on our human shoulders. But that's a different topic (http://anuranblog.blogspot.com/) or viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4033
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Re: bear harassment

Postby gdurkee » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:49 pm

I was talking to Roland Knapp (froggie researcher) last winter and he was speculating (note: emphasis on speculating) on the role of frogs in bear's diets. They may have formed a part of their diet -- though only at alpine elevations. The crash of the frog populations in the late 70s and 80s coincided with the introduction of more effective food storage -- lockers by the mid-80s and canisters by the 90s. When that happened, bears couldn't return to frogs as part of their diet. So, the speculation is they lit out for the territory -- Mammoth, Lone Pine, Tahoe. Again, no data exists, but it's really interesting.

Russ is right, though, that it's highly unlikely bears contributed in any way to frog's decline.

Probably worth a PhD thesis for someone, though not sure how they'd track base data.

George
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Re: bear harassment

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:05 pm

maverick wrote:Hi MK

The last time I was in DB Basin coming over an un-named pass from Observation
Lakes Basin I saw several bear, and mountain lion prints in the corridor descending
into DB Basin, but did not see either animal while there.


Interesting about bears in DB. I didn't think of either, nor notice signs of them while I was there in '93, but I do recall seeing mountain lion prints on the shore of Crabtree No. 3 (higher elevation than DBs at 11300+) in 1996. It was sort of funny because I guy camped there was very scared of bears and asked me to look at some prints and tell him if I thought they were bear prints. They were mountain lion prints. I don't think he found my explanation of the prints very comforting.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: bear harassment

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:35 am

I have worked with Red-legged frogs for many years. Certainly, they are not in the same habitat as yellow-legged frogs, but one gets a sense of a frog when they work with them.

It is hard for me to believe that bears have any long-term impact on yellow-legged frogs. Bears may have an impact on white bark pines, but not frogs. Bears need nutrients and protein, and they can't be spending energy pawing around for frogs to get that.

The frogs decline was from water pollution, and could originally have been initiated by livestock grazing. But the frogs are coming back, and I've seen a few healthy populations, particularly in the Carson Pass area.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby lambertiana » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:30 pm

I wonder if bears head up to Wanda Lake or the small ponds in upper LeConte just below Helen Lake. There are plenty of frogs at both those locations.
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