This winter, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wildlife biologists are seeking the public's help to learn about new black bear dens throughout New York.
As part of DEC's ongoing monitoring of black bears in New York, wildlife biologists periodically check on black bears during the winter den season. The bears may be fitted with a radio collar to help biologists track the bears' activities throughout the rest of the year and to relocate dens in subsequent years for monitoring cub production, condition, and survival.
Bears may den in a rock crevice, tree cavity, or under heavy brush or fallen trees. Since female bears generally give birth in January or early February, a high-pitched squeal from the cubs may be audible if near a den. New York hikers and hunters typically cover countless miles of wooded terrain each year. DEC urges anyone who finds a bear den to not approach or disturb the den, but simply to note the location and move away from the den site.
DEC requests that anyone locating a bear den contact their local DEC Wildlife office with specifics about the den location, including GPS coordinates if possible. A list of regional wildlife offices is available on DEC's website.
More information about black bears in New York is available at DEC's Black Bear web page.