In September and October 2010, visitors and local residents reported signs of bear in the Point Reyes area to Point Reyes National Seashore staff. Although none of these reports have been confirmed by NPS staff, it seems likely that at least one black bear is visiting the Seashore and surrounding lands. Whether the bear will remain in the area or move back to its original range is unknown. Black bears historically have been an important part of the native California ecosystem. Because they are at the top of the food chain, they eat animals that are more readily captured due to age or weakness thus having some influence on population dynamics of some species. Foraging activities by bears assist decomposition in forested environments where they tear apart logs and snags to gain access to insects or where they may excavate plants from the ground. Their consumption of berries, acorns, and fruits aids in the distribution of the seeds of various plants.
The Black Bear: Natural History