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The Natural History of Yellowstone's Grizzly Bears

The following links take you to a series of blogs that provide more insight into the unique diet and natural history of Yellowstone's grizzly bears; their history and relations with seminal foods such as bison, whitebark pine, and army cutworm moths; and some of the severe threats facing these foods.

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The Grizzly Bear Moth-Eating Jig     April 14, 2016

This essay describes not only the phenomenon of grizzly bears eating army cutworm moths in remote alpine regions of the Northern Rockies, but also the history of scientists discovering this fascinating phenomenon.

Yellowstone's Irreplaceable Grizzlies      March 3, 2016

This essay describes some of the many ways that the diet and natural history of Yellowstone's grizzly bears are unique, not only in North America, but also in the Northern Hemisphere, emphasizing the extent to which natural history more than bear numbers is a feature of true conservation.

The Epic Shared Journey of Bison and Grizzly Bears    June 9, 2017
This essay describes the long and epic history of relations between grizzly bears and bison in North America that survives only in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, despite having been a defining feature of grizzly bear ecology in the Great Plains and elsewhere for millennia.


The Late Great Whitebark Pine     July 30, 2017
This essay describes the singular importance of whitebark pine seeds in the diets of Yellowstone grizzly bears and the existential threat to this food source that has emerged thanks to the effects of anthropogenic climate warming and the introduction of a fatal non-native fungal disease.



The Miracle of Hibernation & Denning

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These essays by Louisa celebrate the miraculous and still mysterious physiological processes by which grizzly bears are able to sustain themselves for periods of 4-6 months without eating, drinking, defecating or urinating, all the way curled up in a dark den...and, in the case of female grizzlies, giving birth to and nursing newborn cubs 

The Miracle of Grizzly Birth   February 2, 2018

This essay describes the miraculous process involving mother grizzlies giving birth in the dead of winter while fasting, as part of bears’ remarkable reproductive strategy.

Obesity In Bears: Vital and Beautiful   November 16, 2017

This essay digs deep into obesity in bears, why being fat is vital to survival, and the strange evolution of humans’ relationship with fat – and bears that symbolize fat.


Bear Dreaming: Of Wonder in Winter   December 18, 2018

This essay describes the amazing and mysterious process of hibernation in bears; what medical researchers are learning that could help humans; and the important meaning of hibernation in bears to ancient cultures.

Climate Change and Grizzly Bears

The following two links take you to blogs that examine not only the potential impacts of climate change on grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies, but also the politics of denial that have made dealing with this issues so difficult. More information on the potential impacts of future climate change can also be found on the Mostly Natural Grizzly Bears web site under Whitebark pine, Army cutworm moths, and Fruit.


The Sinister Underbelly of Climate Warming Denial   

July 2, 2018
This essay provides an overview of research on why so many people are in denial about climate warming, as well as the spillover of this denial into dismissal of climate warming as a threat to grizzlies by federal and state wildlife managers.

Through the Climate Looking Glass into Grizzly Wonderland

July 20, 2019

This essay provides more detail about the threat posed to grizzlies by climate warming, the prospective catastrophic extent of future warming, and the mystery of why government bureaucrats deny these realities.

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