ABR Educational Outreach In North Carolina

Comments are off

North Carolina has a population of coastal bears in Eastern North Carolina and mountain bears in Western North Carolina. The coastal population is one of the highest densities in North America. Both populations are increasing while their habitat is shrinking due to development. “The tremendous amount of residential development in bear habitat and the increasing bear population in western North Carolina has resulted in more encounters between bears and humans,” said Mike Carraway, a wildlife biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “Almost all of the encounters have involved some type of food source that humans provided for the bears either intentionally or unintentionally. Most bear problems can be resolved by simply removing the food sources.”The NC Wildlife Resources Commission has a policy against trapping and relocating bears because this generally does not solve the problem but merely transfers it to a new area where the bear will find other food sources to raid. Because some male bears have a home base of 20,000 acres, a residential community or commercial trash dumpster is almost always nearby regardless of where the animal is relocated. In addition, if the food source is not removed, other bears will be attracted to the area. The long-term answer is not tranquilizing and trapping the bears, but educating the public about what attracts these animals and what they can do to prevent encounters. The Educational Outreach by Anne Allison and Kathy Sherrard, Volunteer Educators for ABR, supports NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s the long-term answer by educating the public about what attracts these animals and what they can do to prevent encounters Anne and Kathy showcased ABR through pictures, posters, and brochures. At some of the functions they had the opportunity to provided artifacts for the hands-on educational activities and games for children. Through the use of these activities and games they are educating children while at the same time they are having fun. They are finding that many adults also enjoy participating in the games and activities. During their educational efforts they reached a significant number of individuals, many of whom had specific bear questions or problems that they were able to help them resolve. Dr. Michael Pelton was the featured speaker at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching seminar where Anne and Kathy made an ABR presentation.

Nick doesn’t stop movingJust Hanging out