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DEC issues guidance to reduce conflicts with bears

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Mon, Mar 22nd 2021 01:15 pm

Public encouraged to remove birdfeeders, feed pets indoors

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminded New Yorkers to avoid conflicts with bears by taking down bird feeders and securing garbage.

DEC has already received a few reports of bear sightings across the state. As bears emerge from their dens, they use their sensitive noses to find food. Human-related food sources such as bird feeders, pet food, and garbage can attract bears and lead to potential conflicts. Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless property management, has consequences for entire communities, as well as the bears themselves.

To reduce the potential for human-bear conflicts, DEC advises everyone residing in or visiting bear country (much of upstate New York) to remove any attractants. People should take down birdfeeders and clean up any remaining birdseed by April 1, store garbage inside secure buildings, and feed pets indoors. By taking these simple steps, New Yorkers can help to ensure bears will find food naturally, which in turn protects people, property and bears.

For more information, visit DEC’s webpage on reducing human-bear conflicts.

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