Bears not sleeping during warm winter

Dec 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: EU must take urgent action on invasive species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Environment loses out in Russia's race to Sochi

Feb 04, 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

Dec 04, 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 ...

Wild brown bear observed using a tool

Mar 07, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Because brown bears are so reclusive, not to mention dangerous to be around, not a lot is really known about their brain power. This is actually rather odd because bears have the largest brains ...

Where Antarctic predatory seabirds overwinter

Dec 02, 2011

In order to identify the flight routes of the birds, postgraduate Matthias Kopp, under the guidance of Dr. Peter, equipped South Polar skuas with geolocators in their breeding areas on King George Island, ...

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

54 minutes ago

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

1 hour ago

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

Adventurous bacteria

3 hours ago

To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown how these organisms should ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.