A Bear’s-Eye view of the Katmai Coast

Ever wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of a brown bear? Researchers at Katmai National Park wonder, too.

To learn more, they initiated a collaborative, multi-year study examining the relationship between intertidal resources, coastal brown bear behavior, and human influences. As a part of this study, nine brown bears along the Katmai coast were outfitted with GPS location collars during the summer of 2015 to help better understand how they use intertidal resources like clams and mussels.

Two of the collars were equipped with video cameras that captured a bear’s-eye view at regular intervals. The videos reveal just what it is the bears are doing when they are out in the intertidal mudflats, wandering through meadows, or hiding in the brush. This location data, along with on-the- ground observations and the video clips will help answer questions like: How much time do bears spend in the intertidal zone? What do they do while there? What kind of intertidal resources are they feeding on?

The study has only gathered one year of data, some of which is shared through this story map, so these questions remain unanswered at the moment. But another two years of field data should start to shed more light on this important relationship between the land and the sea.

The website for this study is a remarkable production.

Check it out for yourself…


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