Grizzly bears go vegetarian due to climate change, choosing berries over salmon

The comments under the original story warm my wittle heart~ctm

From The Telegraph

Bears are munching on berries, which contain less protein and therefore take less energy to break down, causing them to gain weight more quickly. Credit:  GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

28 August 2017 • 8:32pm

Grizzly bears have stopped eating salmon in favour of elderberries after being forced to make a choice due to climate change. Warming temperatures meant that the berries are ripening earlier than usual, at exactly the same time as the freshwater streams on Alaska’s Kodiak Island are overflowing with sockeye salmon.

The island’s brown bears typically feed first on salmon in early summer, followed by elderberries later in the season, in late August and September.

“What you have is a scrambling of the schedule,” said William Deacy, a biologist at Oregon State University that studied the phenomenon.

“It’s essentially like if breakfast and lunch were served at same time and then there is nothing to eat until dinner.

“You have to choose between breakfast and lunch because you can only eat so much at a time.”

The study found that during the unusually warm summer of 2014, the bears, which would traditionally kill up to 75 percent of the salmon, were nowhere to be seen near the streams.

Instead, they were in the hills busy munching on berries, which contain less protein and therefore take less energy to break down, causing them to gain weight more quickly.

Biologists warned that changes caused by a warming planet were behind the bears‘ unusual behavior and could affect the entire ecosystem.

The researchers found that the forests around the streams suffered because the bears’ fish carcasses were no longer there to enrich the soil.

“Bears switched from eating salmon to elderberries, disrupting an ecological link that typically fertilizes terrestrial ecosystems and generates high mortality rates for salmon,” the study said.

Read the story and comments here.

HT/Keith

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David A Smith
August 30, 2017 12:03 pm

So…bears can adapt.

Trebla
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 12:22 pm

If I were a salmon I would welcome this news. Being eaten alive by a bear can’t be much fun, and you don’t even get a decent burial but are left to rot so some stupid tree can gain weight.

Greg
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 1:31 pm

OMG something has CHANGED !
Since nothing in nature ever changed until 1960 when human CO2 emissions became significant, this must yet another sign of how we are screwing up the planet for future generations.
We MUST ACT NOW !!

Greg
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 1:36 pm

Does not seem so long ago that wild salmon populations were supposedly collapsing due to over fishing.
If bears usually kill 75% before they spawn we probably need to shoot more bears.

Greg
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 1:42 pm

I love the way the hyperlink under “brown bears” links to something about grizzlies. The journo has not idea what she is writing about.
Typically !

Latitude
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 2:08 pm

Did anyone else notice that the berries were earlier because of .climate change
…..but yet the “warming planet” did not affect the fish at all…the fish stayed on schedule

DonM
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 2:56 pm

… and the whole scary thing is “disrupting an ecological link that typically fertilizes terrestrial ecosystems and generates high mortality rates for salmon,”
… GENERATES HIGH MORTALITY RATES FOR SALMON.
More salmon die because the bears don’t eat them now?
(maybe they meant salmon berries … nevermind.)

TA
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 4:29 pm

“… and the whole scary thing is “disrupting an ecological link that typically fertilizes terrestrial ecosystems and generates high mortality rates for salmon,”
The salmon die anyway soon after they spawn, so their ability to fertilize the area ought to be about the same as if they were killed by bears. I guess the good fishing holes might benefit a little more from bear kills.

BernardP
Reply to  Trebla
August 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Yes, great news for salmons

USexpat
Reply to  Trebla
August 31, 2017 6:34 pm

Greg,
Brown bears are a sub species of grizzly. Mostly the difference is they’re bigger due to a salmon diet.

Reply to  Trebla
September 1, 2017 11:32 am

This comment is mainly for Greg. Greg, you mentioned that the hyperlink for Brown Bear led to something about Grizzlies. I am not sure if you were being sarcastic or not.
Brown Bears and Grizzlies are both Ursus arctos. In some circles, the terms Brown Bear and Grizzly are synonymous — the distinctions are so small as to be moot. Other scientists are of the opinion that there are majoy distinctions and that Ursus Arctos should be broken up to reflect those distinctions.
Either way, pointing this out is a logical fallacy on your behalf. Debate the science, please. Too often, people who are for or against AGW use strawman or red herrings (most often is the ad hominem) to bolster their claims.
So, now you know. Grizzly and Brown Bear are much the same. If you are going to draw attention to the fallacies of the science, then please do that. Quibbles over a name (when you obviously do not understand them) only makes you look the fool.

vukcevic
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Bears are becoming lazy ‘snowflakes’ due to climate change, opting for the easy berries’ picking instead doing bear’s job of hunting,

Latitude
Reply to  vukcevic
August 30, 2017 1:05 pm

Let’s see…..sit on myass and eat berries
….get in freezing cold water and eat slimy fish
Probably the same bears that raid my garbage cans……….

Asp
Reply to  vukcevic
August 30, 2017 10:22 pm

Millennieal bears?

ricksanchez769
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 1:02 pm

Just got a message from Gentle Ben –

Huh? let me see – weeks and weeks of berry eating, or an afternoon or two of salmon gorging…how stupid does this biologist think we are?

Latitude
Reply to  ricksanchez769
August 30, 2017 1:08 pm

Bears live on fat through the winter….berries make them fat, faster…..bears are not stupid

gnomish
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 1:42 pm

clueless squared.
bears don’t have to catch them – they die after they spawn and wash up on shore. ppl collect them for dog food. the eagles feast on them.
and walk around the 1/4 bushel pile of magenta bear berry poop on the sidewalk.
visit somewhere that everybody has trashcans with bear bites and see how it is in real life.

Greg
Reply to  gnomish
August 30, 2017 1:45 pm

Yes but .. but something has CHANGED ! This must be bad and we did it !

gnomish
Reply to  gnomish
August 30, 2017 8:01 pm

heh- nothing another tax can’t cure, right?

M Seward
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 3:11 pm

The bears have been sampling the wares for millenia and have decided that berries for breakfast is better than salmon.
I completely agree with them. Personally I think salmon is over rated.
Who needs a ‘scientist’ to put together an LPU to tell us this?

Gil
Reply to  M Seward
August 30, 2017 5:51 pm

M. Seward: Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery became quite hungry after they crossed the Rockies and proceeded downriver towards the Pacific. The idea of eating the abundant salmon was repugnant to them, so they purchased dogs from the Indians and ate them (the dogs, not the Indians). There’s no accounting for taste.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  David A Smith
August 30, 2017 6:37 pm

The picture is a Grizz. A Grizz and a brown bear are two different bears.Kodiak Island is known for Kodiak bears, aka brown bears. Just for giggles, a black bear can be brown, cinnamon phase.

2hotel9
Reply to  Ric Haldane
August 31, 2017 5:01 am

Here in PA our bears are black, just the way we like’em! Oh my! Is that insensitive and politically incorrect? I certainly hope so.
On a serious note, hunting in Idaho years ago I was stalked by a grizzly for several hours, lost him, or distracted him, by going through a 3-5 acre sized berry patch. Just glad I did not run into another one while getting through it!

USexpat
Reply to  Ric Haldane
August 31, 2017 6:38 pm

Kodiak bears are a larger version of grizzly bears due to a diet of fish, mostly roe.

Griff
Reply to  David A Smith
August 31, 2017 4:56 am

but the ecosystem around the salmon rivers may not.
the nutrient supplied to forests/vegetation by salmon remains left by bears is an essential driver of the whole ecosystem along those rivers.
This documentary explains it:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00vbgjl

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 6:37 am

B.S.
We know a lot less about these things than is generally claimed. The natural environment is and incredibly complex web of interconnected systems, many of which we know little to nothing about. One thing that is clear, though, is that the environment is very resilient, if not particularly predictable.

Griff
Reply to  Griff
September 1, 2017 4:46 am

Paul, we know about that ecosystem because it has been studied in immense detail.
Watch the film.

Clay Sanborn
August 30, 2017 12:07 pm

This affects me how…?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Clay Sanborn
August 30, 2017 12:13 pm

If you live there, you should probably carry a .50cal Desert Eagle while gathering berries for canning or wine.

LucusLoC
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 30, 2017 1:26 pm

Give me a Mare’s Leg in 45-70 (hot). I’d rather have something I can count on to go bang when I need it.

Sheri
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 30, 2017 2:13 pm

Smith and Wesson revolver—same caliber.

Norman Blanton
August 30, 2017 12:11 pm

So Salmon population will explode?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Norman Blanton
August 30, 2017 12:22 pm

Or will the Elderberry supply dwindle first?
Or is this all about just one year?

Greg
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 30, 2017 1:20 pm

elders rely on animals eating the fruit to disperse seeds, no sense in having all the seeds fall below the parent plant to compete for light water and nutrients. Being dumped further down the rack in a good dollop of bear shit is ideal.
This is good news of elder bushes as well as sock-eye salmon.
But of course ANY CHANGE from last years average is a catastrophic “anomaly” for bedwetter.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 30, 2017 1:44 pm

Yes, but I thought Bears defecated in the forest?

Greg
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 30, 2017 1:53 pm

elderberries often grow on the banks of streams. Steams often flow through woods. Bears often shit in the woods.

M Seward
Reply to  Norman Blanton
August 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Dunno about that but their butts will explode about mid morining if they over do the berries for breakfast.

August 30, 2017 12:12 pm

“Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of Elderberries.”
It had to be said. So I said it.
Now, what did the bears do AFTER 2014??

Michael ODonnell
Reply to  Aphan
August 30, 2017 3:13 pm

That made me laugh out loud.

Tom Halla
August 30, 2017 12:15 pm

I’m missing something here, as these are Pacific salmon, which die after spawning, so how are the streams missing fertilization from salmon? Bear droppings, perhaps?

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Well… they are on their way to spawn so bears are unwittingly providing a Darwinian function of increasing salmon IQ by catching the ones too stupid to avoid getting eaten. But then berries will make the bears smarter by providing more anti-oxidants so more smart salmon will be caught. Believe it or not there’s a video that touches on this relationship!

nc
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 30, 2017 5:05 pm

The fertilizing being referred to happens away from the stream with fish remains after been eaten. The optimum artificial fertilisation of forests matches natural fertilisation by fish remains.
The fertilisation by fish remains is generally in the first 100 yards from a stream or river.

Green Sand
August 30, 2017 12:17 pm

The bear necessities

Joel Snider
August 30, 2017 12:20 pm

So Grizzly Bears now have a choice.
That’s gotta bother the Progressives.

SMC
August 30, 2017 12:23 pm

The bears are just trying to do their part to mitigate climate change by going vegan. The climate change commutation group should be proud, their message has spread so widely, even wildlife is starting to pay attention. (/sarc)

imoira
Reply to  SMC
August 30, 2017 1:15 pm

Next they’ll be riding bicycles.

DHR
August 30, 2017 12:24 pm

My Grandfather used to make elderberry wine. Have the bears caught on to something?

Greg
Reply to  DHR
August 30, 2017 1:27 pm

I used to make elderberry wine until I moved to somewhere warm enough to grow grapes !

arthur4563
August 30, 2017 12:24 pm

I think they are foling themselves if they think a couple of warm summers means a permanent change. And this applies to which bear population, They also intersperse Grizley with Brown bears,
so I’m not sure which they are referring to , or both. I’d say these biologists need to be educated about global warming and not jump to conclusions. It is also true that the ecosystem for bears, who have been around quite awhile, have gone through more than a couple of severe climate changes.
These guys seem to always think animal species are fragile, and aren’t mobile enough to simply move to happier hunting grounds. I don’t get the reason why they think it’s great for fish carcuses to fertilize the forest. It could not possibly affect a large area of a forest.

Griff
Reply to  arthur4563
August 31, 2017 4:58 am

I’m sure that there is evidence that the berries have been ripening earlier over a long period of time though…
UK records going back decades show spring flowering of multiple species is getting earlier due to climate change

Jtom
Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 1:30 pm

If they have been ripening earlier, it’s not due to local climate change, since it hasn’t changed. 2014 was above average in temps. This year, it’s below average.
Why don’t you do an average for Kodiak over the last thirty years and offer up some real evidence instead of your usual arm-waving. Or are you afraid of actual facts and data?

catweazle666
Reply to  Griff
September 2, 2017 2:27 pm

“UK records going back decades show spring flowering of multiple species is getting earlier due to climate change”
No they don’t.

Gary
August 30, 2017 12:24 pm

Obviously this calls for solar-powered fish harvesters to toss the salmon carcasses into the woods because the bears are so undependable.

rocketscientist
Reply to  Gary
August 30, 2017 1:04 pm

After the adult salmon complete the spawn, what do they think happens to the fish? Here’s a hint, they don’t swim back to sea.
What the bears don’t eat, birds will. What the birds don’t eat smaller creatures will. 3 years have passed since the bears were noticed to have changed their cuisine. Yet, surprisingly the salmon continue to spawn and the bears continue to survive on vegan rations.
What are the bears currently dining on, canapés and cucumber sandwiches? I’ll wager they have returned to sashimi and berry pie for dessert.
I’m waiting for the fools to determine that grizzly bears have eco-consciously switched to a sustainable diet based on plants and away from overfishing.

Griff
Reply to  Gary
August 31, 2017 4:59 am

That would be a good idea. The nutrient/minerals from salmon remains are essential to the environment of the area

Andy pattullo
Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 7:55 am

Based on what? Pretending to sufficiently understand the intricacy of the nutritional web that connects all these elements together to safely recommend bizarre human interventions is a sign of fantasy thinking, not science. Bears instinctively know what is good for them as evolution has made them what they are. We seem to be the only species stupid enough to resists what hundreds of millions of years of genetic and behavioural evolution tells us works.

2hotel9
Reply to  Andy pattullo
August 31, 2017 9:59 am

“We seem to be the only species stupid enough to resists what hundreds of millions of years of genetic and behavioural evolution tells us works.” No truer words have EVAH been uttered.

Ray in SC
Reply to  Griff
September 1, 2017 8:46 am

Griff,
Please tell me you weren’t responding to Gary?

catweazle666
Reply to  Griff
September 2, 2017 2:28 pm

Jesus wept…

Ross
August 30, 2017 12:26 pm

So we all know what bears do in the woods. The fertilizer factor is probably calculable. Bear input is slightly greater than bear output due to temporary weight gain. The story implies that there is a total lack of fertilization from bear foraging when they convert to berries. Not so. The real issue is the fertilizer value associated with a vegetarian diet vs a salmon centric diet. The scatological differential should be calculated, and there could be a difference, but not anything that really would have a negative impact on the forests of the northwest.

Annie
Reply to  Ross
August 30, 2017 6:03 pm

Scatological! Love it.

Annie
Reply to  Annie
August 30, 2017 6:06 pm

It’s the end result that matters, after all.
I remember seeing bear scat (berry-stained) below the house in British Columbia during our one and only much-enjoyed visit to Canada. Lovely people and country.

noaaprogrammer
Reply to  Annie
August 30, 2017 7:02 pm

Eschatological = relating to the study of end-time events.

Ray B
Reply to  Ross
August 30, 2017 11:56 pm

Actually, there is a difference, Ross. The fertiliser from salmon carcasses is brought in from the Pacific Ocean, so is a plus for the ecosystem when they are spread around the forest by bears. If the bears don’t eat them, the majority of the fertiliser produced by the carcasses as they rot, is flushed much further downstream. Meanwhile, the local plant community adds very little extra fertiliser into their ecosystem above what exists in the soil already.

Ross
Reply to  Ray B
August 31, 2017 4:19 am

Great point, and it would flush down stream. I wonder, one year event where many gravid salmon were not disrupted in their maternal journey, does this bode well for the future? Then this would “normalize” over a fairly short period of time. No barren wasteland due to one early berry season.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Ray B
August 31, 2017 3:23 pm

Fertilizer into the woods from bears eating? I worked in Alaska for a few summers, doing riverine SONAR work specifically aimed at counting migrating salmon returns. We sat in floats right on the bank, with SONAR gear in the water, and 10 feet on either side we’d have a bear eating salmon.
For every salmon a bear would consume (and they seemed to eat 3-4 before wandering away), literally thousands would migrate past our site. Guess what – 99% of that fertilizer from rotting fish OR from bear scat never made it to the forest in the first place. It’s going down the river anyway – because 99%+ of the biomass of fish actually reached the spawning grounds (at least, those that made it past the gillnetters).

August 30, 2017 12:27 pm

How many hunting permit compared to previous years ?

Stevan Reddish
August 30, 2017 12:31 pm

“Grizzly bears have stopped eating salmon in favour of elderberries after being forced to make a choice”
How were the bears “forced”? Did someone tell them there wouldn’t be berries later in the summer? If, so, that person was ignorant, because elderberries hang on the bush far into late summer. Circumstances allowed the bears to choose, not forced them. It looks like the bears only chose salmon previously because they had no other choice.
Secondly, how can a study during one hot summer show that “the forests around the streams suffered because the bears’ fish carcasses were no longer there to enrich the soil.” Does the forest immediately start to wither if it doesn’t get fertilized one summer?
Thirdly, what of the birds? Did they also pass on the salmon? Bears leave the fish carcasses on the banks of the stream where they catch them. It’s the birds that carry fish into the forest.
SR

Stevan Reddish
Reply to  Stevan Reddish
August 30, 2017 12:45 pm

I should add that bird droppings are distributed much better than bear scat – sprinkles verses clumps.
SR

Lynn Clark
Reply to  Stevan Reddish
August 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Re: “being forced to make a choice”
Exactly. Speaking only for myself, if given a choice between raw, live salmon and Tillamook Udderly Chocolate ice cream, I’ll go with the ice cream every time. 😉

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Lynn Clark
August 30, 2017 1:10 pm

The “Udderly” part could get interesting.

Lynn Clark
Reply to  Lynn Clark
August 30, 2017 7:32 pm

I knew someone would comment about “Udderly”, probably assuming that I misspelled “Utterly”:
https://www.tillamook.com/products/ice-cream/family-sized-premium/udderly-chocolate.html

Latitude
Reply to  Stevan Reddish
August 30, 2017 1:11 pm

Of course it hasn’t occurred to them that berries, since they are more nutrient dense…might have been something the bears were programmed for…and then that changed….and the bears had to eat fish
If the berries make the bears fat faster……they live on fat through the winter

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Latitude
August 30, 2017 3:21 pm

That would totally spoil the climate change angle and deny their research the necessary funding. You just have to play the system, Lat.

Kurt
Reply to  Stevan Reddish
August 30, 2017 3:09 pm

These idiots – the bears weren’t “forced” to make a choice – they were given a choice. I see no reason why a perfectly rational bear couldn’t have dined both on elderberries and salmon if they so desired. I know several restaurants that would charge a pretty penny for that combination. That they prefer the elderberries wouldn’t have been my selection, but hey, I’m not a bear. And I thought the whole point was for the bears to get fat, so this seems to be far more efficient of a process.
“You have to choose between breakfast and lunch because you can only eat so much at a time.” If you’re going to use an analogy, shouldn’t it at least make sense? Breakfast and lunch aren’t concurrent. What does it matter if you can only eat so much at a time?
“The study found that during the unusually warm summer of 2014, the bears, which would traditionally kill up to 75 percent of the salmon, were nowhere to be seen near the streams.”
Excellent – the environmentalists down here in Oregon keep griping about the dwindling salmon numbers, and the government is even going so far as to kill sea lions because they eat too many salmon. I guess these guys just can’t being themselves to admit that warmer temperatures have any kind of a benefit at all.

August 30, 2017 12:32 pm

So….for one year, the elderberry crop came early and was really abundant, so the bears ate berries two weeks earlier…while “abandoning sockeye salmon runs”…
Except that sockeye isn’t the only salmon that “runs” on Kodiak island. And those “runs” start in May and go through September. So…did the bears starve until the berries showed up? Nope. Did the bears starve AFTER the berries were gone? Nope.
Mr. Deacy’s analogy fails. It’s more like someone served dessert with breakfast, instead of with dinner. Lunch was STILL there idiot. The bears just chose not to attend, because they were full. Idiot study.

Bruce Cobb
August 30, 2017 12:36 pm

This study is bad, but I guess we’ll just have to groan and bear it.

Art
August 30, 2017 12:39 pm

As an Alaskan, with numerous encounters, I can tell you first hand that this article is BS. They are opportunists that eat anything. Berries are one of their favorites.
“Despite their reputation, most brown bears are not highly carnivorous, as they derive up to 90% of their dietary food energy from vegetable matter.” (From Wikipedia)

old engineer
Reply to  Art
August 30, 2017 3:03 pm

“They are opportunists that will eat anything”.
Indeed that seems to be the case. Twenty years ago I was on an Alaskan cruise in August that stopped at Kodiak island. One of the shore excursions was a bus tour around the island, which I took. Of course we all wanted to see the Kodiak grizzly bears. The bus driver laughed and said “they are all at the garbage dump, and we aren’t going there.”

Kurt
Reply to  Art
August 30, 2017 3:18 pm

“They are opportunists that eat anything.”
Are we talking bears or climate scientists, here?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Kurt
August 30, 2017 3:29 pm

Climate scientists are opportunists who vomit anything something else will eat.

The Original Mike M
August 30, 2017 12:41 pm

The antioxidants in the berries will eventually make the bears so smart that someday they’ll just buy them at the supermarket to avoid getting wet and having to eat the yucky parts like bones and scales, etc. .

Pop Piasa
Reply to  The Original Mike M
August 30, 2017 3:35 pm

They’ll be like Yogi and BooBoo, only in the progressive age they’ll be on food stamps and selling them to the tourists so they can buy meth.

Griff
Reply to  The Original Mike M
August 31, 2017 5:00 am

This lighthearted SF story is along those lines…
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/bears-discover-fire/

Ray in SC
Reply to  Griff
September 1, 2017 11:58 am

Griff,
Yes, that is an amusing story but at the same time it is somewhat heartbreaking. Those poor bears will certainly live short and brutal lives breathing all of tthat toxic smoke and living in the dangerous environment of a highway median.
If we could only set them up with a suitable habitat, near both berry patches and garbage dumps, we could get them out of the highway median and into a safer environment. If we then provided solar/wind power microgrids to reduce their dependency on wood for light and heat, we could eliminate their exposure to toxic smoke fumes. The combination of factors would surely be a boon for bears everywhere. And, the exposure to tecnology will lead to major cultural development.
Over time, and with help from the internet, they may learn to cultivate berries and to raise honey bees, providing ample nourishment as well as feedstock for production of berry wine and honey mead. After that, who knows; literature, the arts, hell, the sky is the limit. I mean, have you ever seen a dancing bear? And no, I don’t mean one of those scraggly fleabags working 80 hours a week at a roadside show for a scraps from the cafeteria tent. I mean a proud beast of the wild, a master of it’s domain, having watched every episode of ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and with a few pints of mead under it’s belt……
Wait a minute, maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Have you ever seen the movie ‘Planet of the Apes Bears’?….

I Came I Saw I Left
August 30, 2017 12:42 pm

Instead, they were in the hills busy munching on berries, which contain less protein and therefore take less energy to break down, causing them to gain weight more quickly.

Sounds like the bears know exactly what they are doing – get as fat as quickly as they can before winter. Sounds like a survival instinct. And trust me… the trees will get over it.

John M. Ware
August 30, 2017 12:43 pm

I know that if I go on a steady diet of berries, I get diarrhea and other digestive distresses–in and out, quick-time. I suspect the bears might also have specific reaction to an all-berry diet. Whatever diet they have, though, the end product is still poop, wherever it lands. I’m sure there have been warm summers in other years that set the berries to bearing early, and perhaps other summers in which the weather made the salmon run late. My feeling is, bears are reasonably tough (and are known omnivores) and can endure whatever diet the season offers.
This article, of course, had to find a disastrous result to report: Not enough salmon carcasses means too little fertilizer for the trees! My skepto-meter has zinged off the end of the chart–sorry.

Jtom
August 30, 2017 12:48 pm

Yes, this article was brought up in another thread. I won’t repeat my whole comment, but as Sgt, Joe Friday would say, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Please note the year mentioned in the story.
Past weather Kodiak – july 2014
Average high temperature: 63.5°F (normal: 60°F)
Average low temperature: 50.5°F (normal: 49°F)
Average temperature: 57°F (normal: 55°F)
Total Precipitation: 2.58 inch (normal: 4.92 inch)
Total snowfall: 0 inch
Kodiak – july 2017
Average high temperature: 58.3°F (normal: 60°F)
Average low temperature: 49.1°F (normal: 49°F)
Average temperature: 53.7°F (normal: 55°F)
Total Precipitation: 3.76 inch (normal: 4.92 inch)
Total snowfall: 0 inch

Curious George
August 30, 2017 12:50 pm

Forget climate change; warming breeds vegetarians. That’s why so many Indians are vegetarians.

rocketscientist
Reply to  Curious George
August 30, 2017 1:11 pm

I might suspect that available dietary supply is more of a factor in determining what you eat.

Paul Blase
Reply to  Curious George
August 30, 2017 4:51 pm

So the bears are all turning Hindu?

john
August 30, 2017 12:51 pm

Wow! Most bear scat I ever came across in the summer/fall months are loaded with berries. In fact, berries are a huge part if their diet.
Wait till the bears start smoking weed with those biologists….

rocketscientist
Reply to  john
August 30, 2017 1:19 pm

I recall seeing a rater tongue-in-cheek notice to outdoorsmen:
DO TO RECENT BEAR ACTIVITY IS IT ADVISED THAT OUTDOORSMENT AND HIKERS TAKE PRECAUTIONS. CARRYING BELLS OR OTHER SOUND MAKING DEVICES WILL PREVENT UNEXPECTED ENCOUTNERS. CARRYING PEPPER SPRAY IS ASLO ADVISED.
IF BEARS ARE ENCOUNTERED PLEASE REPORT TO PARK OFFICIALS., LOCATION AND TYPE OF BEAR.
BLACK BEAR SCAT MAY BE IDENTIFIED BY THE PRESENCES OF BERRIES AND SMALL ANIMAL HAIR.
GRIZZLY BEAR SCAT MAY BE IDENTIFIED BY THGE PRESENCE OF BELLS AND SMELLS LIKE PEPPER.

Tom - the non climate scientist
August 30, 2017 12:53 pm

The grizzlies living more than 100 miles inland dont eat a lot of salmon

imoira
Reply to  Tom - the non climate scientist
August 30, 2017 1:18 pm

Do they know how to use can openers?

Tom - the non climate scientist
Reply to  imoira
August 30, 2017 3:16 pm

thats tuna and sardines in cans (only sometimes salmon in cans

Pop Piasa
Reply to  imoira
August 30, 2017 3:52 pm

They don’t need no stinking can opener…

Caligula Jones
Reply to  imoira
August 31, 2017 6:23 am

Have you SEEN a grizzly paw?

The Original Mike M
August 30, 2017 12:55 pm

Bears are like little kids. Of COURSE they’ll eat their desert first if you let them.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  The Original Mike M
August 30, 2017 3:56 pm

“eat their desert”
Cholla, Saguaros and all?

John F. Hultquist
August 30, 2017 1:12 pm

comment image

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 30, 2017 1:14 pm

Try right clicking into a new tab
from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberries_for_Sal

wsbriggs
August 30, 2017 1:13 pm

Bears, like most other mammals, synthesise their Vitamin C from sugar, Elderberrys are loaded with sugar, a sweet tooth exists in most mammals, even those which can’t synthesise their own Vit C.
Note: I prefer synthesize to synthesise but my spell checker…

Thomas Homer
August 30, 2017 1:28 pm

We should expect that “apex predator species” such as Grizzlies and Polar Bears (previous article) would reflect the state of the food chain. If the food chain is abundant, then the apex predator species would have plentiful supply.
Of course, Carbon Dioxide is the base of the food chain. Increasing the abundance of the base of the food chain passes along this abundance through the chain up to the apex predator species.
Bears are gaining weight because of increased atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Thomas Homer
August 30, 2017 4:11 pm

Home Run for Mr Homer!
The false and deceptive vilification and limitation of one of life’s building blocks is the greatest potential threat to terrestrial life ever concocted by men.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 30, 2017 1:37 pm

And this has never ever happened before? Really? Disrupting the ecological link! Bears getting fat quicker! Can’t have that.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 30, 2017 4:19 pm

This dude is a believer that everything nature has an unchanging, rigid, autistic sort of personality which we can tragically disturb with our very presence on this third rock. No changes! Changes are bad for Gaia!

dp
August 30, 2017 1:45 pm

So how much warming has occurred in this area of study?

Rachelle
August 30, 2017 1:47 pm

Went to the Telegraph article. If there were comments they seem to have been removed. Can’t have anything disturbing the preferred narratve.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Rachelle
August 30, 2017 2:10 pm

No, they are still there.

Annie
Reply to  Rachelle
August 30, 2017 6:15 pm

The comments at the DT can take quite a while to load, even after the link at the bottom of the article has finally shown up.

Rachelle
August 30, 2017 1:51 pm

Oregon State? Is that the same school that put out the absurd article about feminist interpretations of glaciers so we could develop more ethical human-ice relations? (Yes, there was such an article) . Too much pot in Oregon, I think.

Resourceguy
Reply to  Rachelle
August 30, 2017 2:29 pm

…and gone to pot.

Walter Sobchak
August 30, 2017 1:52 pm

If the green meanies really worried about what bears ate, they would move up to Kodiak and offer themselves up to be eaten by the bears. But, they won’t do it. Will they?
Of all of God’s creatures who will eat exactly what they want to eat, and at the times and places that they want to eat it, Bears are Number 1.
https://explore.org/livecams/bears/river-watch-brown-bear-salmon-cams

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
August 30, 2017 2:10 pm

BTW the Bear cam picture is very pretty and the sounds are very soothing. Go look at it for a couple of minutes and de-stress.

FerdinandAkin
August 30, 2017 2:04 pm

Can the dendrochronologists proxy the temperature by the difference in tree fertilization from bear scat obtained from salmon vs berries?

Resourceguy
Reply to  FerdinandAkin
August 30, 2017 2:30 pm

Sure for a grant and pub. Order up

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 2:18 pm

If the bears are now eating berries doesn’t that mean that vegetarians can now eat the bears when they end up as roadkill ? Sounds as sensible as George Monbiot advocating eating roadkilled squirrel pan-fried.

JustAnOldGuy
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Around here we don’t depend on roadkill. Squirrel season opened August 26 with a daily limit of 10. A scoped 22 or a modified choke in 12 or 20 gauge is all you need. Besides, who wants a squirrel hide with tire tracks? Pan fried is ok but squirrel and dumplings does a better job of filling you up.

Resourceguy
August 30, 2017 2:28 pm

So once again ocean cycles don’t matter and more generic labeling wins again.

Ted Midd
August 30, 2017 2:36 pm

And just how much has Kodiak Island warmed over the last 20 years, if at all. Anyone know?

Jtom
Reply to  Ted Midd
August 30, 2017 3:45 pm

As per my post above. July temps were above average in 2014; below average this year.

James Fosser
August 30, 2017 2:58 pm

”Warming” temperatures? I have never seen one of these. Are they animal, vegetable or mineral?

Anna Keppa
August 30, 2017 3:20 pm

Forrest Gardener August 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm
No. It’s the polar bears which explode … or fall out of the sky … or something. Pretty sure that it wasn’t fish exploding though. Forgive me. It’s some time since I saw Al Gore’s first mockumentary.
***********************************
Mark Steyn reminds us that every time you fly in an airplane and generate CO2, a polar bear loses his wings.

Editor
August 30, 2017 3:33 pm

My kids always preferred picking berries to fishing too. Smart Bears!

Reply to  Kip Hansen
August 30, 2017 4:55 pm

I always loved fishing as a kid.
But now I’m semi-vegetarian, so maybe picking berries would be more productive.

Editor
Reply to  duncanmackenzie
August 31, 2017 8:28 am

My oldest boy, now celebrating the birth of this first son, picked berries like bears do….wading into berry patches far taller than he, disappearing from sight, with a small kid-sized bucket that never ever got filled — filled his tummy first and dyed his face and hands purple in the process.

Tom in Florida
August 30, 2017 3:56 pm

Perhaps it is due to a temporary shortage of bagels. Who would want lox without bagels?

u.k.(us)
August 30, 2017 5:30 pm

I got nuthin cept another bear joke:
“In Montana, tourists are warned to wear tiny bells on their clothing when hiking in bear country. The bells warn away MOST bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground along the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of grizzly bears.
How can you tell a grizzly bear dropping?
It has tiny bells in it.”

2hotel9
August 30, 2017 6:15 pm

Really? These morons are just now figuring out that berries ripen BEFORE the salmon runs hit? What a bunch of stupid c**ts.

Griff
Reply to  2hotel9
August 31, 2017 5:10 am

no – the berries only now started ripening earlier…

catweazle666
Reply to  Griff
September 2, 2017 2:31 pm

More BS…

michael hart
August 30, 2017 6:25 pm

I always found elderberries to be very hard work for the amount of nutrition obtained. Pretty thin gruel.
If I had to do it to get enough energy to survive, I would go for a stream choked with salmon every time. I’m not persuaded that bears would make such a low-energy choice without some other confounding variable(s) influencing them. For example, maybe the bears actually prefer the hillside locations at that time of the year (mating? security? absence of irritating tourists and ecologists?) but don’t normally hang out there because there is not enough food to be had at those locations unless the elderberries have ripened early.

Nash
August 30, 2017 6:32 pm

Maybe to the bears, berries are more delicious than salmon?

Mike Wryley
August 30, 2017 9:18 pm

Not to mention the fact that the bears get a nice dose of tapeworms from eating salmon

Eric
August 30, 2017 11:42 pm

Salmon says: burn more fossil fuels.

Ray in SC
Reply to  Eric
September 1, 2017 12:11 pm

Eric, you gave me a great idea…’Berry Filet’, a fast food resturaunt catering to bears and serving all manner of berry treats. Their commercials will feature salmons hold a sign that says….’Eat more berries!’

Mickey Reno
August 31, 2017 1:14 am

I think climate scientists need to go walk those grizzly bears back to the streams and MAKE them eat salmon for their own good.

Mary Brown
August 31, 2017 8:21 am

Usual astonishing over-reach.
(1) Put “climate change” in proposal
(2) get funding you never would get otherwise
(3) know nothing about climate and take alarmist assumptions verbatim
(4) find something, anything. Blame it on climate change
(5) recommend more study (another grant)
(6) hype to media.
(7) repeat

Graham
August 31, 2017 8:49 am

I would argue that this is an indication of a longer or colder winter coming. Hence the intuitive need of the bears to put on more fat.

2hotel9
Reply to  Graham
August 31, 2017 10:04 am

Well could be. The nesting behavior of hornets, wasps and yellow jackets is a not bad indicator of winter weather. This year we are seeing hornet and wasp nest high of the ground, and yellow jackets burrowing into embankments facing south, as well as into south facing walls/eaves and overhangs of structures. We are due for a good, hard winter, tired of not getting much snow around here.

Editor
August 31, 2017 8:54 am

The Telegraph report is mostly wrong. The bears studied are not grizzly bears, but just Kodiak Brown Bears.
The study shows, without a doubt, that Kodiak Brown Bears will preferentially feed on ripe elderberries over salmon, every time. That’s all it shows about the bears.
The rest of the study shows that elderberries on Kodiak Island have extremely variable ripening dates and these dates may or may not depend on average spring temperatures. For example, in 2010, elderberries did not ripen AT ALL. No elderberries that year, and the salmon got hammered by hungry bears.
There have been three “early ripening years” since 2010. There were three similar (even earlier) ripening years around 1980, and several anomalous late ripening years in the mid-1970s. The graph of ripening dates is spoiled by drawing a computer-generated false/inappropriate trend line across generally data with a wide natural variation.
Salmon researchers might write this story quite differently — showing how salmon spawning is much more successful when elderberry ripening dates distract the brown bear population during the height of the yearly spawn.

Editor
Reply to  Kip Hansen
August 31, 2017 8:55 am

correction: “false/inappropriate trend line across generally flat data “

Gary
August 31, 2017 9:03 am

I’m not a biologist so I have two questions1) the article says that the bear scat containing salmon would fertilize the forest and that the lack of salmon carcasses leaves the forest barren. So do the dead salmon get up and walk away from their steam into the woods to decay, or do the bears walk throughout the woods to poop? 2) if a scientific study found ” their is no change and no problem” does he automatically get fired and have to give his grant money back?)

Griff
Reply to  Gary
September 1, 2017 4:43 am

The bears leave not only poop but partially consumed salmon through a wide area around the rivers

Gloateus
Reply to  Gary
September 1, 2017 12:04 pm

Birds scavenge the salmon carcasses.

August 31, 2017 9:24 am

Liberals are so stupid about subjects they believe in, such as a coming global warming catastrophe (that will never come), that stupid writers like Victoria Ward can say just about anything … and there’s no skepticism or questions.
Brown and black bears are omnivores — they’ll eat just about anything — what they choose to eat is the tastiest food they can find — if enough food was available, they would choose to be 80% to 90% vegetarian.
If ripe berries are available, then they will choose ripe berries over salmon.
They’re probably sick of salmon and can’t wait until the berries are ripe.
Some years the ripe berries will be available sooner than other years.
So what?
This has nothing to do with climate change — daytime highs are not affected by CO2 — US had the highest measured daytime highs in the 1930’s.
Sometimes i think the main effect of climate change is to kill off brain cells of Democrats, liberals progressives and other socialists.
I could tell one of them my cat has gone on a vegetarian diet due to climate change and I think they would believe me — it’s almost impossible to make up a climate doom story that a liberal won’t believe — and some of them even have college degrees.

Keith
August 31, 2017 10:33 pm

CTM, thanks for the h/t on the post – Keith

Mark - Helsinki
September 2, 2017 8:08 am

another day, another rent seeking paper.

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