Bears not sleeping during warm winter

December 22, 2006

Scientists, calling it another sign of climate change, say European brown bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain.

First bees, butterflies and swallows flitted about in Britain during the winter. Now scientists report that European brown bears have been spotted plodding through the forests of Spain's Cantabrian mountains instead of snoozing in caves, the Independent said.

Normally bears slumber throughout the winter because frozen weather makes food scarce.

But many of the 130 bears in Spain's northern regions remained active throughout recent winters, naturalists from Spain's Brown Bear Foundation in Cantabria said.

The warm weather has affected female bears with cubs. They're finding enough edible goodies on the mountainsides to make winter food-gathering forages "energetically worthwhile," scientists said.

"If the winter is mild, the female bears find it is energetically worthwhile to make the effort to stay awake and hunt for food," said Guillermo Palomero, the foundation's president and coordinator of a national plan for bear conservation.

The behavioral changes suggest that global warming could be responsible, said Juan Carlos Garcia Cordon, a geography professor at Cantabria University, and a climatology specialist.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Stink bugs have strong taste for ripe fruit

Related Stories

Stink bugs have strong taste for ripe fruit

June 29, 2015

The brown marmorated stink bug has a bad reputation. And for good reason: every summer, this pest attacks crops and invades homes, causing both sizable economic losses and a messy, smelly nuisance—especially in the eastern ...

Citing drought, California town rushes water plant

January 3, 2015

California's drought declaration has triggered only local limits such as restrictions on washing cars or watering lawns for most communities, but one Pacific Coast tourist town has seized it as an opportunity to build a long-desired ...

Environment loses out in Russia's race to Sochi

February 4, 2014

Just outside the Olympic Park in Sochi, where the Winter Games open on Friday, is a green space with benches, artificial ponds and a couple of hides. "Ornithological Park", the sign declares.

Growing hydroponic strawberries in the desert

December 4, 2013

Growing up in Tokyo, Chieri Kubota savored fresh strawberries brimming with flavor in the winter. Only when she went to college and studied agriculture did she learn that fresh strawberries in winter are "an unusual cycle ...

Recommended for you

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

New blow for 'supersymmetry' physics theory

July 27, 2015

In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.