Black bears back in eastern Nevada after 80-year absence

Scientists say new genetic testing confirms the bears are making their way east from the Sierra ranges.

By SCOTT SONNER

Associated Press

Published on November 27, 2017 10:30AM

In this Oct. 24 file photo, a black bear searches for Kokanee salmon as it walks along Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. More than 500 black bears have made their way back into parts of their historic range in the Great Basin of central and northeast Nevada where the species had disappeared about 80 years ago, scientists say.

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

In this Oct. 24 file photo, a black bear searches for Kokanee salmon as it walks along Taylor Creek in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. More than 500 black bears have made their way back into parts of their historic range in the Great Basin of central and northeast Nevada where the species had disappeared about 80 years ago, scientists say.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — A new study says more than 500 black bears have returned to parts of their historic range in the Great Basin of Nevada where the species disappeared about 80 years ago.

Scientists say new genetic testing confirms the bears are making their way east from the Sierra ranges north and south of Lake Tahoe along the California line.

In some cases, recent generations have moved hundreds of miles to sites near the Utah line.

The researchers say it’s a rare example of large mammals recolonizing areas where they’d been wiped out.

The new data provides ammunition for advocates of increased protection of wildlife corridors for a number of species in the basin, a vast stretch of desert and mountain ranges that covers most of Nevada, half of Utah and parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California.



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