Katmai Terrane

 

About This Blog

Bears. Salmon. Volcanoes. Wilderness. Culture. These are the terranes of Katmai. Each is distinct, but in combination these features create a place like no other. Read about the uniqueness of Katmai in this blog.

Fat Bear Week 2020

October 21, 2020 Posted by: Amber Kraft

A recap of the 2020 Fat Bear Week competition.

 

Beyond Brooks Camp

August 30, 2020 Posted by: Cara Rohdenburg

A look at opportunities outside of the Brooks Camp Developed Area experienced by one ranger at Katmai.

 

Notes from the Field: The Ethics of Science

September 15, 2017 Posted by: Clint Augustson

Visiting a bear health exam on the Changing Tides Project reveals the care scientists show in protecting and understanding these impressive animals.

 

Notes from the Field: A Tale of Two Bears

September 01, 2017 Posted by: Clint Augustson

Spending time around bears provides fascinating glimpses into their unique personalities and habits.

 

Notes from the Field: Adagio of Life and Death

September 01, 2017 Posted by: Clint Augustson

Scenes of life and death on the Katmai coast can reveal both stories of renewal and stories of loss, often in the same events.

 

Bear Profile: 435 "Holly"

September 03, 2016 Posted by: David Kopshever

Mother bears are always on the clock. Learn how this summer has been for 435 "Holly," who emancipated her cubs this past spring.

 

Changing Tides - Bluebird Days For Researchers And Bears

June 15, 2016 Posted by: Joy Erlenbach

The first step for the 2016 portion of the Changing Tides Project was a success! 10 female bears have been collared for the 2016 study year.

 

Why National Parks Can't Ignore Individual Animals

January 20, 2016 Posted by: Michael Fitz

A recent Yellowstone Science article describes how a focus on individual animals limits our ability to preserve wildlife populations, but this is not true. Naming an animal, referring to its individuality, or connecting with it isn’t a weakness of the human condition or near-sighted. We must recognize the role of the individual in wildlife management, conservation, and especially in public appreciation.

 

Recent Bear Deaths at Brooks River

November 23, 2015 Posted by: Michael Fitz and Jeanne Roy

Bearcam 2015 ended with startling deaths that highlighted the harsh realities of a bear’s world. The death of two bears, a young cub and an adult male, offered the opportunity to learn from events that people rarely have the opportunity to observe and study.

 

Collaring and Handling Bears for the Changing Tides Project

September 02, 2015 Posted by: Rebecca Paterson

Tranquilizing wild animals requires considerable skill, especially in remote locations.

 

Late Night at Brooks Falls

August 31, 2015 Posted by: Tori Anderson

From 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. June 15 to August 15, the platforms and boardwalks at Brooks Falls are closed. In order to better understand how bears use the falls when no humans are present, I assisted Brooks Camp’s bear monitor, Leslie Skora, with an overnight monitoring session from 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., then again from 4 to 7 a.m.

 

Through the Lens: A Photojournalist and the Changing Tides Project Part 2

August 17, 2015 Posted by: Kaiti Chritz

Climbing out of my tent at 5:30 a.m. revealed an absolutely stunning morning. The water-striped mud flats of the low tide in Hallo Bay reflected the morning sun and silhouetted clamming bears off in the distance. As we hiked along the beach to the observation spot, my camera gear, tripod, and large lens made it’s presence known on my back. I wasn’t going to regret not bringing something with me on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

Picture Hallo Bay

August 13, 2015 Posted by: Carly McCoy

Picture this: You walk through tall beach grass over a sandy berm and see purple, pink, and yellow wildflowers lining lush sedge meadows. A branch of a nearby creek divides the meadow. In the distance, a wall of snow-capped mountains loom over, broken only by a glacier that has wedged itself between the peaks. What you're imagining isn't some picturesque ad from a travel agency, but the hidden wonder of Hallo Bay.

 

Thank God for Shelter

August 12, 2015 Posted by: Joy Erlenbach

After experiencing some of the weather at Hallo Bay, I most certainly appreciate the good in life—heck, even the mediocre—better than I used to.

 

Expectations Versus Reality at Brooks Camp

August 11, 2015 Posted by: Tamija Woods

Even as a resident of Anchorage, I had never heard of Katmai or Brooks Camp before coming to King Salmon. I was unaware of the fact that Katmai had volcanoes and that invasive plants are affecting the national parks and spreading faster than a bear can run. Before arriving in King Salmon, I was a little nervous about going to Brooks camp because even though I am more apprehensive of moose than bears, what could be more nerve-racking than being surrounded by the world’s largest land predators?

 

Next Month on Bearcam

July 30, 2015 Posted by: Michael Fitz

What should you expect to see at Brooks River and on bearcam over the next month? While other parts of Katmai fill with bears in August, it’s the opposite at Brooks Camp. August brings bears more opportunities to find food away from Brooks River.

 

Previously on Bearcam

June 23, 2015 Posted by: Michael Fitz

What happened on Bearcam 2014? Catch up on the action...

 

To Name or Not to Name?

May 07, 2015 Posted by: Michael Fitz

Bears at Brooks River are assigned numbers for monitoring, management, and identification purposes. Inevitably, some bears acquire nicknames from staff and these nicknames are shared with the public, but naming wild animals is not without controversy. Is it appropriate to name wild animals?

 

Chasing Bigger Bears

October 07, 2014 Posted by: Michael Fitz

Who's on bottom of the bear hierarchy? Young subadult bears, like bear 500, that's who. On Sunday, October 5, part of an extended chase was seen on the River Watch bearcam. 435 Holly’s adopted yearling chased subadult bear 500 while Holly’s spring cub and Holly herself tried to keep up.

 

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

October 06, 2014 Posted by: Tim Downey

In May 2014 my wife, Ann, and I were vacationing on the southern Oregon coast. Upon checking my email while watching Pacific waves crash against sea stacks I saw an unexpected message from my former Katmai National Park supervisor. Curious, I thought. I have not heard from him in some time. “I know this is a long shot, but would you consider returning to Brooks Camp this summer?” he wrote.

 

Abandoned Cub Finds a New Mother

September 11, 2014 Posted by: Michael Fitz

In early July, bear 402 abandoned her yearling cub. Rangers, including myself, were routinely asked, “Will it find another bear to care for it?” My usual response to this question was coldly factual, "Adoption of cubs by another bear is very rare. It has been documented, but is unlikely to happen." However, bears, even young bears, are adaptable and smart. They possess the ability to recognize favorable situations and take advantage of them. 402’s abandoned yearling is no exception.

 

Extreme Camping on the Kamishak

September 14, 2014 Posted by: Perri Spreiser

Kamishak is a long, winding river which empties into Kamishak Bay at the very top of Katmai National Park and Preserve. It has little visitation...by people. I had the opportunity to go for work and spend four nights, five days on this river doing what was later explained to me as "extreme camping."

 

The Blowing Preserve

August 26, 2014 Posted by: Mark Kaufman

Brown bears are the consummate omnivores, and Katmai National Park and Preserve provides an untrammeled land for its most dominant inhabitant to travel in search of food of all shapes and sizes.

 

The Katmai Keystone

August 22, 2014 Posted by: Lacey Thomas

The Bristol Bay region is some of the largest runs of Pacific salmon in the world. Salmon are the keystone species of Katmai National Park. The Brooks Camp area and Katmai in general would not be what it is today without sockeye salmon. Everything present has been built on salmon and their annual migration from vast oceans to Katmai.

 

Being Dominant

July 15, 2014 Posted by: Michael Fitz

Dominant male bears along the Brooks River gain many advantages over other bears. They can access the most preferred fishing spots when they choose, easily appropriate food from other bears, and have a higher likelihood of courting female bears and siring offspring. Gaining access to food allows bears to grow larger. Growing larger gives bears a greater chance to become reproductively successful.

 

Thoughts on Hallo Bay

June 27, 2014 Posted by: Landis Ehler

If and when the public think of Katmai National Park and Preserve, they are increasingly thinking of bears, particularly wild brown bears in relatively large concentrations. From the popular Alaska attractions of Homer and Kodiak many wildlife tours visit a place called Hallo Bay.

 

Starvation Time

April 25, 2014 Posted by: Michael Fitz

Spring is a season often associated with increasing abundance. However, if your name is Ursus arctos, the brown bear, then springtime may be the hardest season to survive.

 

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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