Navigation Links
Black bears return to Missouri indicates healthy forests

For nearly a century, the only bears known to reside in Missouri were on the state flag or in captivity. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss had wiped out most black bears in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma by the 1920s. Now, thanks to a reintroduction program in Arkansas during the 50s and 60s, hundreds of bears amble through the forests of southern Missouri, according to a joint study by University of Missouri, Mississippi State University, and Missouri Department of Conservation biologists, who warn that although the bear population is still small, outdoor recreationists and homeowners should take precautions in the Ozark forest to avoid attracting bears.

"Black bears normally do not attack humans, but they will ransack picnic baskets, tear through garbage bags or even enter buildings looking for food," said Lori Eggert, associate professor of biological sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Although some Missourians may be concerned, the return of black bears to Missouri is actually a good sign. It means parts of the state's forests are returning to a healthy biological balance after nearly two centuries of intensive logging and exploitation."

Eggert and her colleagues used the genetic fingerprints of bears in Missouri to trace their origin back to Arkansas, where thousands of bears now roam. The majority of these animals appear to be descendents of bears originally reintroduced to the region from populations in Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada. Surprisingly, some of the Missouri bears analyzed by Eggert's team had genetic signatures that suggested they were not descended from the northern bears. Further testing may prove that a tiny population of bears managed to survive unnoticed in the Ozark wilderness after the rest of the region's population had died out.

"The larger the gene pool of bears in the region, the healthier the population will be as it recovers," said Eggert. "If they do indeed exist, these remnant populations of black bears may serve as valuable reservoirs of genetic diversity."

If the Missouri population recovers sufficiently, officials someday may allow human hunters to stalk the Show-Me-State's black bears, noted Eggert. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission allows limited bear hunting in October and November.


Contact: Tim Wall
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Reversal of the black widow myth
2. Black carbon flowing from soil to oceans
3. Autism in black and white: NIH grant helps scientist study disorder in African Americans
4. Astronomer gets grant to better measure mysterious black holes
5. Black silicon can take efficiency of solar cells to new levels
6. Clamorous city blackbirds
7. Biologists unlock black box to underground world
8. Strength training improves vascular function in young black men
9. Black piranha, megapiranha have most powerful bites of fish living or extinct, finds GW researcher
10. The dark side of kerosene lamps: High black-carbon emissions
11. Study IDs kerosene lamps as big source of black carbon
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet, ... interviewed on The RedChip Money Report television ... Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg Australia, and ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture ... is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at ... North America dominated the global ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" and ... of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation ... it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from an ... "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date in ... are expected in the near future. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD ) today ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York ... reaffirming its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2015 ... discussing longer term business model expectations. John ... continue to be the fastest growing company of the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... of the  "2016 U.K. Virology and Bacteriology ... for 100 Tests, Supplier Shares by Test, ... to their offering.  --> ... "2016 U.K. Virology and Bacteriology Testing Market: ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... Cells Group announced the opening of a new core patient care hub with the ... The facilities are part of GSCG’s expansion efforts in Latin America. , Both the ... to patients from around the world. , The clinics will be headed by Victor Perez, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, ... assistant chemistry professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime ...   --> ...   --> --> ... UAlbany have discovered a straightforward concept for identifying ...
Breaking Biology Technology: