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: GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Citing drought, California town rushes water plant

Jan 03, 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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

18 hours ago

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

User comments : 0

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.