It started off with a late spring frost that killed off the bears’ seasonal food. It continued with a regional drought. It all added up to the worst year for bear and human conflicts in Colorado since the state started keeping records a few years ago, says an article in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
The article quotes Perry Will, a 38-year veteran of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), a division of the Department of Natural Resources, who manages an area of western Colorado, as saying that he’s never seen a year as bad as this one for conflicts between humans and bears.
Development has set the stage. Colorado’s 5.2 million residents are more likely to hunt or hike or live in bear country, says another article on the topic in The Durango Herald. The state’s surging bear population is another factor the Post Independent article says. Add the frost and the drought, and it’s a recipe for disaster. The number of bears killed this year because of conflicts with humans was nearly triple last year’s total and almost twice as much as the last drought year.
In the article Will says that a year with normal rain could set things right. The state has seen the conflict level drop sharply in the past.
Photo: bear, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service