VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
When salmon runs dwindle on the B.C. coast, the stress levels in grizzlies climb, say researchers who examined hair samples collected from more than 70 bears.
And the bears, which gather along rivers in the fall to feed on spawning salmon, take those high stress levels with them into hibernation, perhaps affecting their long-term health, according to a science paper published Wednesday.
The study is expected to add weight to a growing argument that commercial salmon harvests on the West Coast should be managed not just for people, but also to reflect the needs of bears and other wildlife.
“Part of the reason bears might be experiencing stress is the fact we compete with them for food. And we really need to think about our fisheries not only in terms of our needs as humans but also of the needs of other species,” said lead author, Heather Bryan, a Hakai postdoctoral researcher at University of Victoria and a biologist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation…
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