ODFW Warns About Bears On The Oregon Coast Due To Late Berry Crop

Bears on the Oregon coast are seeking out food near human residences due to a delayed berry crop.

Due to unseasonably cool weather and failed pollination, Salmonberries and Thimbleberries (an important food source for bears) are not yet ripe. As a result of the delayed berry crops, bears on the Oregon coast have been forced to find other food sources, often times in areas where humans live.

Bear Issues On The Oregon Coast Due To Delayed Berry Crops 2022

Salmonberry, Bears Oregon Coast 2022
Salmonberry. Photo by Laurel F via Flickr CC2.

The hope right now is that clear weather will help the upcoming huckleberry and blackberry crops to ripen. Until then, the Oregon Department Of Fish And Wildlife (ODFW) has been getting many complaints about bears.

A black bear walking down the road.

According to a press release from the ODFW, "Hungry bears, determined to eat are digging into residences' garbage, bird feeders, BBQ grills, pet food, chicken and livestock feed and in some instances, killing livestock."

Photo by Justin Miller via Flickr CC2.

Once a bear becomes used to finding easy food near homes, it becomes a threat to human safety, so the goal is to keep bears in the wild where they belong and out of neighborhoods. Bears looking for food near homes may approach people or try to break into cars or homes where they can smell food inside, so it's important to remove anything that might attract bears before it becomes an issue.

Tips For Dealing With Local Bears

This photo by Florida Fish And Wildlife shows how easy it is for bears to get into unsecured trash cans when looking for food. Photo by Florida Fish And Wildlife via Flickr CC2.

The ODFW is urging residents along the Oregon coast to secure food, recycling and garbage so bears aren't attracted to their property. Here are a few tips to deal with bears in your area:

  • Don't feed bears
  • Don't approach bears
  • Keep food, recycling and garbage secure (use bear proof cans if you can find them)
  • Keep pet food indoors
  • Let your neighbors know if you see bear activity and encourage the neighborhood to remove things that might attract bears
  • Take down or empty out your bird feeders when bears are active in the area
  • Clean out your BBQ grill and store it inside
  • Electric fencing can be installed to keep bears away

The ODFW has a list of things to think about and more tips for staying safe around bears that you can check out here.

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