YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS13) – Bear encounters with humans at Yosemite National Park is trending down, according to a new study.
The decrease, according to Inside Science News Service, is being credited to the park’s push to keep human food away from the bears.
Small Black Bears are the bears that can be found at Yosemite. Since the area’s establishment as a national park, the bears learned to target areas frequented by humans due to the food left behind.
Feeding areas were installed in 1923 to take advantage of the bear’s affinity for food, drawing them out so that tourists could see. But, the feeding areas were closed by 1972, leaving the bears to forage for food left at campsites, garbage cans and other places.
Since 1999, bear-proof storage containers have been installed throughout the park to try and deter bears. Further, the park has tried to educate visitors against feeding the bears.
The study published in the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment journal looked at how much of an impact the new program has had. The findings suggest that the bear’s diet has returned to what it was before humans started enjoying the park.
For more information, check out the full study- http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/130276