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2018-12-05 / Outdoor Life

Have You Seen a Bear Den? Report It.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wildlife biologists are seeking the public’s help to learn about new black bears dens throughout the state.

As a part of their ongoing monitoring of bears in the state, the biologists periodically check on bears during the winter den season. The bears may be fitted with a radio collar to help them track the bears’ activities throughout the rest of the year, and to relocate dens in subsequent years, for monitoring cub production, condition and survival.

Bears may den in a rock crevice, free cavity, or under heavy brush or fallen leaves. Since females generally give birth in January or early February, a high-pitched squeal from the cubs may be audible if near a den.

Hikers and hunters typically cover countless miles of wooded terrain each year, so DEC encourages anyone who finds a bear den to not approach or disturb the den, but simply to note the location, and move away from the den site.

DEC requests that anyone locating a bear den contact their local DEC wildlife office with specifics about the den location, including GOS coordinates, if possible. A list of regional wildlife offices is available on DEC’s website. More information about black bears in New York is available on DEC’s black bear web page.

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