Bear Naturalist Guide
Certification Manual



Appropriate answers are found by clicking on the appropriate heading (e.g., BEAR SAFETY)


BEAR SAFETY
•           How dangerous are bears?
*        What major factors govern your risk of being injured by a bear?
*        How commonly are people mauled by a bear?
*        Why do bears sometimes injure people?
•        Why do bears sometimes injure people?
•        How common are serious or fatal injuries?
•        How common are minor injuries?
•        Are grizzly/brown bears fiercer than black bears?
•        How can I stay safe if I encounter a bear?
•        Should I carry a gun in bear country?
•        How effective is pepper spray?


BEAR IDENTIFICATION
•        How many species of bears are there?  
•        On which continents do they live?
•        What’s the difference between brown and grizzly bears?
•        How do you distinguish black bears from brown bears?
•        Where in North America do black, brown and polar bears live?        
•        Are polar bears the only kind of white bear?
•        What are the coat colors for each species?
•        How do you distinguish a bear’s sex?
•        How do you estimate a bear’s age or maturity?
•        How do you distinguish one bear from another?

Bears of the World
*        Photos of each bear species
*        Maps of the geographic distribution of each species
*        Photos of the skull of each species
*        Illustrations of skeletons
*        Links to pages on bear evolution, with information about extinct species


BEAR LIFE CYCLE
•        What are the stages of maturity for a bear?  
•        What are boars and sows?
•        What does it mean that a female is “in season”?
•        What are the mating seasons for bears?
•        How and why do bears court?  How do they mate?
•        How do bears compete for mates?
•        At which ages do males and females reproduce?
•        When does gestation occur?  When are cubs born?
•        What are the roles of adult males and females in caring for cubs?
•        What is the typical sex ratio of cubs at birth?
•        How is the ability of a juvenile to survive on its own related to its age?
•        At which age are cubs weaned?
•        At which age do they become independent of their mother?  
•        What is a subadult?
•        Do bears adopt orphans?
•        How long do bears typically live?
•        How do bears compare ecologically to chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans?
•        How intelligent are bears compared to great apes?


BEAR ECOLOGY
•        What foods do bears eat?  Which nutrients do these foods provide?
•        Which types of habitat are occupied by each species?
•        What preys on bears?
•        What other enemies do bears have?
•        Where do bears den?
•        When do bears den?
•        What is hibernation?
•        Why hibernate?  
•        Is the torpor of all hibernating animals equally deep”
•        What other differences occur between small- vs. large-bodied hibernators?
•        Why don’t bears store enough fat that they don’t need to hibernate?


BEAR CONSERVATION CHALLENGES
*       Intensive Management (AKA "Alaska's Predator Holocaust")
*       Climate change and Recovery of Threatened bear populations in the Lower 48 states
*       Deforestation and habitat fragmentation
*       Extinct species (Giant short faced bear in Alaska; cave bear in Eurasia, etc.)



OTHER FACETS OF NATURAL HISTORY

Guides at any level of safety expertise can also earn an endorsement in other aspects of natural history:



Web pages on these subjects will be added if there is demand.
FREQUENTLY-ASKED VIEWER QUESTIONS
Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
gobearviewing@hotmail.com
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior



Answers to questions commonly asked by wildlife viewers on the topics listed below:
Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
gobearviewing@hotmail.com
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior