In March of this year, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences published this incredible report:
HUMAN HUNTING HAS CHANGED THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MOTHER BEARS’ BEHAVIOR TO THEIR CUBS.
The professor who headed the research, Jon Swenson, said that a single female in Sweden is four times more likely to be shot than one with a cub. “In the period from 2005 to 2015, the number of females keeping their cubs an additional year increased from 7% to 36%. More cubs stay with their mothers an additional year (up from 1.5 years to 2.5 years).
He insightfully adds that “Man is now an evolutionary force in the lives of the bears.” Females who keep their cubs longer live safer lives, but they reproduce less often. This reduces their total number of offspring throughout their lives.
We at Wildlife Watch believe this is an intelligent decision on the part of the bears to outsmart the hunters, and not merely an incognizant or unconscious reaction to hunting.
Wildlife Watch is grateful to Jim Robertson, a rare ethical photographer of wildlife, for allowing us the use of his photos that are taken without lures and artificial props, and without causing the wild animals any disturbance that would alter their behavior. You can see more photos on his website: