The Bear situation at Yosemite | Bears lot is improving

An estimated 400-500 black bears live in the 1200 sq miles of Yosemite. Generally, they are not a problem. Humans continue to be their worst nightmare. In 2013, there were 155 “bear incidents.”  That term officially describes when a bear causes a “monetary loss to a person.”

Yosemite bear incident

Yosemite bear incident

Where does the most activity take place??? Not in the backcountry. Not in the parking lots or even Curry Village. It’s in Little Yosemite Valley. In 2013, overall incidents are down 22% compared to the same time in 2012. And 2013 was down 92% since 1998. Why? Bear proof storage boxes. An aggressive program starting in 1999 turned the corner.

A report in the March issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment,
showed that from 1975 to 1985, human food made up about a third of the diet of bears. Rcords going back to 1915, revealed that the diets of bears went from 30%  human food to 13% today. This data was a result of a new technique that uses isotope ratios differences between wild bear food and human food, creating a record of the bears’ dietary make up.

And now the sad news: 16 bears were hit by vehicles in 2013. The cause: Well, the bears can’t read, so they wander out along the shoulders looking for grub. The Tioga Road is a common area, as cars tend to speed through.

Unrelated thought worth quoting:Feed mefeed mefeed me Feed me Seymour / Feed me all night long / That’s right, boy! / You can do.”Little Shop of Horrors

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to The Bear situation at Yosemite | Bears lot is improving

  1. Maureen L says:

    I’ve been privileged to site bears on hikes several times over the years. Including one that crossed Southside Drive in the western part of the Valley.

    However, I don’t think this is the sort of thing those who visit the Valley only should hope for!

    And I question the good sense of any park employee who thinks that should be the day tourist’s right!

  2. Dean says:

    Listening to a valley employee last year on the shuttle one morning. His feeling was that while the programs to keep bears wild were a good idea, he felt that it had driven most of the bears away…his experience was that bear sightings had virtually dropped to zero which he thought was a great shame.

    Maybe there is still some expectation of seeing wild animals in the wilderness and disappointment for visitors if they don’t see anything.

    In my experience I recall quite a lot of night time activity in Curry in 2007 as Rangers chased away bears. Our visits in 2011 and last year were much quieter.

    Personally I’m happy if the bears are focusing more in LYV rather than scavenging for trash in Curry.

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