Salmon shortage leads to brown bear cubs dying in Japan -- Sep 27

Brown bears usually wait to feed on pink salmon swimming upstream at the estuaries in Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido from mid-August to early October.

In 2023, they have been unable to find the fish at the mouths of the rivers, reported The Asahi Shimbun on Monday. Instead, the brown bears have been swimming in the sea to look for food.

On Sept 19, images taken from a tour boat off the coast showed a thin bear swimming, turning rocks on a beach and rummaging through washed-ashore seaweed. The bear was searching for fish, shellfish and insects, said The Asahi Shimbun.

“Some bears have grown really thin, and they are having a tough time,” said Mr Katsuya Noda, who operates the cruise and told the newspaper. “There are no fish in the rivers, just like last year.”

“This year, in addition to the lack of salmon, acorns also have a poor harvest, Mr Masami Yamanaka, a researcher at the Shiretoko Nature Foundation, told The Asahi Shimbun.

“An estimated 70 to 80 percent of the cubs born this year are dead. It’s really a serious situation.”

Pink salmon is an importance source of food for the estimated 500 brown bears that inhabit Shiretoko Peninsula, a Unesco World Natural Heritage site, known for its landscapes and wild animals. ...continue reading

Sep 27 (JAPAN NEWS NIIGATA) - 新潟県は9月26日、今年8月に行ったブナなど、クマの餌となる木の実の調査結果を発表しました。  ...continue reading