Black Bear Natural Foods - Volunteer Training

Black Bear Natural Foods - Volunteer Training

Tuesday, May 23rd, 5:30pm or Friday, May 26th, 5:30pm.

The Methow Conservancy and Home Range Wildlife Research are launching into the second year of our Bear Natural Foods Community Science Project. This project is aimed at understanding the yearly fluctuations in the abundance of wild berries available for black bears to eat.

As climate change alters the timing, temperature, and precipitation associated with our seasons the phenology of these natural foods is changing in unknown ways. What is known is that when bears do not have access to natural nutrition such as berries, they increasingly turn to human sources of calories and become problem bears. The goal of this project is to track the fluctuations in berry availability over time and relate this to human-bear coexistence in the Valley.

You can help us do this by becoming a bear natural foods volunteer! We will be hosting two field training sessions for volunteers interested in taking on a summer-long data collection route. Distributed around the Methow Valley, these routes will be one mile long and will follow known trails or gravel roads. Volunteers will survey their designated survey route once a month, and your duties will be to identify and record the presence and quantity of six species of fruit shrubs important to black bears.

After completing the volunteer training, a data collection route will be assigned to you, or your group based on your location and abilities. Transects will need to be visited at least four times over the summer, so only volunteers who can make that time commitment should attend these trainings.

If you have questions email: Additional future trainings may be offered depending on demand and scheduling.

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