Who goes there?

Recognize these tracks? While flagging a treatment area in Camino for Fire Adapted 50 Phase B, our team encountered this muddy print. The artist? A black bear, front paw.

California is home to some 30,000 – 40,000 black bears, with many calling the Sierra Nevada region home [1]. During the cold of winter, black bears hibernate as needed. One fascinating adaptation of these iconic creatures is their ability to re-grow and repair bones while hibernating [2]. Imagine having the physiological capacity to self-heal your skeletal system! In fact, research into this process in black bears is currently informing studies on human bone diseases. Pretty cool.

Encountering evidence of local black bears reminds us that we share a habitat with a plethora of wildlife. While the RCD projects primarily aim to protect people and property, wildlife and ecosystems can benefit alongside humans from community wildfire management.

Sources:

[1] https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Black-Bear/Population

[2] https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Black-Bear/Biology#311311069-hibernation