07-09-15 Field Note

Lorinda Bullington describes recent bear activity and shows how bears provide habitat for other organisms.

Posted on 7/9/2015 by Lorinda Bullington

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MPG North Field Note 7 July 2015 Bee Balm, Bears, Burying Beetles Lorinda Bullington
Despite dryer than normal conditions, drought tolerant bee balm thrives this year (Monarda fistulosa).
Though not impenetrable, the new exclosure in Entrance Meadow lessens deer browse. As a result, bee balm increased and grows far from where first seeded (arrows).
estruction marks many trails and decommissioned roads. Hungry bears left paths of peeled bark and chewed cambium. They triggered multiple cameras in recent weeks.
Bear images
Amidst destruction, bears also create habitat. This burying beetle (Nicrophorus) feasted on maggots in a large pile of bear scat. They feed on then bury animal carcasses for their larvae to eat. To slow decomposition and discourage other scavengers, they cover the carcass in antimicrobial and antifungal secretions. The unusual presence of this beetle in scat makes me wonder if it could have passed through the bear’s digestive tract.
pink flower