The genetics of bears apparently has been changed more over time by hunting and other human activities than by natural macro-changes like ice ages.

 Story in Science Daily. 

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

One Response to Bear Hunting Altered Genetics More Than Ice Age Isolation

  1. Monty says:

    This study is just confirming what we already know about many other species that have been modified by human behavior. Cattle, dogs & other domesticated species are the most obvious examples. Bears, although never really domesticated, have been selectively harvested based on size & aggression. Bear hunters, for the most part want to put their foot on the head of the largest bear and have their picture taken. What self -respecting hunter would shoot a hundred pound bear when there is a 1000 pounder out there to be harvested? Since bears have low fecundity rates, it would seem obvious that over time there would be fewer large bears to pass on their genes.


November 2007


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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