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New York DEC Seeks Public Assistance in Locating Active Bear Dens

Wildlife biologists in New York are asking for the public’s aid in locating bear dens. Here’s how you can help.

In a recent news bulletin, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has let it be known that it would like to hear from residents that may know about or happen upon an active bear den in the state.

DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos was upbeat when he said, “There is great value in having resident participation for this type of wildlife research. DEC’s wildlife biologists use public feedback from these studies as a guidance measure for future wildlife management and planning efforts. I encourage anyone that encounters a bear den to follow our safety instructions and reach out to their local DEC office for reporting”

Wildlife biologists in N.Y. would like to collar and observe as many bruins as possible in an effort to monitor overall black bear health, cub production, and survival. Though many people in the state do not see black bears, their range in the state is increasing by the year.


While bears can remain dormant for up to five months during the N.Y. winter, anyone approaching a likely den is asked to use extreme caution, and simply note the location before moving away.

The DEC lists possible den sites as rock crevices, hollow trees, and even under heavy brush. In quieter locations it’s even possible to hear the squealing of newborn cubs in January or early February. Since mother bear is likely nearby, the DEC strongly suggests not approaching or disturbing the den in any way.

Locating the nearest DEC regional office with any information is the next logical step. The DEC’s black bear webpage is loaded with great information about bruins in N.Y. and is a good place to start learning about bears.



Check out What an Active Bear Den Looks Like Just Before the Winter Hibernation

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New York DEC Seeks Public Assistance in Locating Active Bear Dens