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Global warming: in the Pyrenees, bears leave their dens during hibernation

2024-02-26T22:02:48.927Z

Highlights: In the Pyrenees, particularly mild seasonal temperatures push some bears to leave their dens to go about their business in the forests. Usually, at this time of year, the largest mammal in the French mountains is in winter dormancy. The unusual images, to say the least, were shared last Friday on social networks by the Pays de l'ours association and the Eco-Pastoral Intervention Fund. The disruption of the seasonal rest of the imposing mammal does not seem to be inevitable.


Several bears from the mountain range were photographed this winter, during their usual hibernation period. A phenomenon that can be explained


The unusual mildness of winter upsets natural balances.

In the Pyrenees, particularly mild seasonal temperatures push some bears to leave their dens to go about their business in the forests.

Usually, at this time of year, the largest mammal in the French mountains is in winter dormancy.

Several bears were photographed and filmed in the open air in the middle of February.

And the unusual images, to say the least, were shared last Friday on social networks by the Pays de l'ours association and the Eco-Pastoral Intervention Fund, two associations which want the return of the bear to the Pyrenees.

We see individuals followed for a long time, the male Rodri or even Sorita and her two cubs, evolving in the Osseau Valley (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) in November 2023 and February 2024.

In addition to Sorita and her cubs, Rodri is not sleeping this winter either.

As we indicated previously, some...

Published by FIEP Groupe ours Pyrénées on Friday February 23, 2024

This winter, specialists have surprisingly noted several traces attesting to bear activity in the mountains, such as hairs or paw prints.

Usually, the plantigrade hibernates from autumn to early spring.

A natural phenomenon at this time of year: as food becomes scarcer, and its search more time-consuming, the animal makes sure to use as little energy as possible.

Winter dormancy

In reality, the Pyrenees bear does not go through “strict hibernation”, like the marmot, but goes into “winter dormancy”, indicates the French National Parks website.

Thus, it is likely to come out of its den when temperatures rise during winter, one of the consequences of global warming.

The animal can thus “make short trips around its den”, specifies the site.

Also read: In the Pyrenees, bears give shepherds nightmares

The disruption of the seasonal rest of the imposing mammal does not seem to be inevitable.

“Bears hibernate by adaptation, and not by physiological need,” explains Alain Reynes, director of the Pays de l’ours association, to Point.

“When searching for food costs more energy than it provides, they slow down.

This year, as the weather is particularly mild and the fruiting was rich in the fall, they find it easier to eat, and some have therefore still not started to hibernate,” he continues.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2024-02-26

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