A Tour Through Black Bear Country – 1 August 2019

A Tour Through Black Bear Country – 1 August 2019

A joint field trip with the North Shore Black Bear Society

Trip Report by Leader David Cook

Seventeen members walked in a section of forest in Lynn Canyon Park where bears have been foraging for insects in rotten logs. We also looked at a den, possibly of coyotes. We left the forest and crossed Lillooet Road into the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and walked the Richard Juren trail beneath Hydro lines where there were good crops of fruit-bearing plants and trees known to be popular with bears, such as salal, Himalayan blackberry, salmonberry, red huckleberry and mountain ash. Two bear scats were examined and found to contain salal seeds, bitter cherries (stones and whole fruit) and stones of fruit possibly plum. This was the first time I had seen the bears eating bitter cherry, particularly this early in the season when the cherries are most bitter.  The salmonberry crop had long finished and the Himalayan blackberry crop would reach its peak in a few weeks. Blackberries are their favourite fruit so the bears should be expected to be back in full force. I was pleased to see the evidence that the bears were back after a couple of years of absence. My fears that they had left because of human recreation through the area was allayed to some extent. Perhaps they are learning to forage at night or at dawn and dusk when there is no human activity. 

This photo shows where a bear has been foraging for grubs by tearing apart a log.

Photo by Steph Bulman
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