Saturday, February 9, 2008

Momma moose are smarter than the average bear

Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society found that each year for the past 10 years, pregnant moose in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem move closer to humans when they are getting ready to deliver their young. The moose are seen along the roads and by buildings in order to avoid brown bears that are known to prey on moose calves. The brown bears are dreadfully road-shy so the moose moms are safe . . . at least from them. With the moose moms hitting the road there is strong evidence that the wildlife living in our national parks are profoundly affected by the presence of humans and humans to some degree serve to protect the moose from predators.

Biologist Joel Berger has dedicated his life to learning more about wildlife. He has even gone as far as disguising himself as a moose in order to get close enough to them to test their reactions to predators. His research has shown that even formerly “predator-na├»ve” moose can quickly learn to be wary of wolves and bears. To read more about Dr. Berger’s moose research, click here.

For more . . .

Roadside is birthing center for moose moms (Earth & Sky)

Pregnant moose get cozy with humans (NPR)

Humans unknowing midwives for pregnant moose (Science Daily)

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