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Thread: Moose use 'human shield' to avoid hungry bears

  1. #1 Moose use 'human shield' to avoid hungry bears 
    tzh
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    Why did the pregnant moose approach the road? To give birth away from hungry grizzly bears, according to researchers who say expectant moose have learned that roads provide a relative safe-haven for their new-born calves.

    Joel Berger of the US Wildlife Conservation Society says his team's findings demonstrate how protected nature reserves can alter animal behaviour in unexpected ways.

    For 10 years, starting in 1995, Berger and colleagues tracked female moose in and around Grand Teton National Park in north-west Wyoming, US.

    Each year, the team put radio transmitters on between 18 and 25 female moose, about three quarters of which were usually pregnant. They also monitor the behaviour of the moose by following them on the ground.

    As the years went by, the team noticed a peculiar trend: "Pregnant moose would drop their calves closer and closer to roads," says Berger, who admits that he did not expect to spot such a trend at the outset. "It was just one of those dumb blind-luck situations," he says.

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    This article comes from: http://e.ygddai.com/science/environm...ears_3130.html


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  3. #2  
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    How do they know it was to avoid bears?
    Moose like salt and all winter long the roads are heavily salted. Come spring, it all melts to the side of the road. When you are pregnant you crave certain minerals (pica). How do they know this isn't the reason?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Orleander
    How do they know it was to avoid bears?
    Moose like salt and all winter long the roads are heavily salted. Come spring, it all melts to the side of the road. When you are pregnant you crave certain minerals (pica). How do they know this isn't the reason?
    That is a good propostion, it seems possible. The articles explanation was that moose are known to avoid bear droppings when birthing, and bears are known to avoid roads, so maybe it just so happens that roads have no bear droppings so the moose just end up there.
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    I've never seen bear poop in my yard, so if that was the case, why not give birth near homes? It can't be a noise factor. Roads have to be noisier than a house.
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