Yushan National Park has recently been reporting frequent sightings of Formosan black bears. These sightings have not been confined only to the Walami Trail in the eastern area of the park; traces of Formosan black bears have also been seen in the area around the Duiguan area of the Batongguan Trail. From February this year to June, an automatic camera installed near the Walami Trail has captured images of the black bears ambling through the area on an almost monthly basis. This shows not only that the location is an important stomping ground for the black bears, but also that the area in which the bears are active is getting increasingly closer to the trail itself. Visitors to the area are therefore advised to exercise extra caution, to avoid direct contact with the bears.
The Yushan National Park Headquarters says that it commissioned black bear expert Hwang Mei-hsiu to install automatic cameras to monitor the activity of the bears in the eastern part of the park. Bear sightings were made in the Jiasin and Shanfeng areas of the Walami Trail in February, March, April and June this year, and in May a conservation volunteer spotted a black bear along the Duiguan section of the Batongguan Trail. Every month there has been a pleasant surprise.
As to the reason for the regular sightings of the black bears, the past few months have been the season that black bears take their cubs out foraging for food, and the eastern area natural habitat has everything the bears need, with plentiful food.
Photo courtesy of the Yushan National Park Headquarters 照片：玉山國家公園管理處提供
The park headquarters reminds visitors that, if they chance upon a black bear on one of the trails, they should not panic, and quietly but quickly walk away. If the bear is walking toward them, they should not turn their back on the bear, and should instead walk backwards at a brisk pace, facing the bear as they do. Visitors should not take pets into the mountains, but can bring with them something that can make a noise, to prevent the bears from getting near them. If the visitor has brought food with them, they must wrap it up to keep the smell of the food escaping, and take it with them when they leave. They should then inform the park management at the nearest location to help them keep track of the bears’ whereabouts.
(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)
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