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North America’s three bear species — blackbears, grizzly bears and polar bears — don’t typically live in the same place.But in Wapusk National Park, on the west coast of Hudson Bay in northernManitoba, we caught all three bears on camera — for the first time.

北美的三种熊:黑熊、灰熊和北极熊通常不会生活在同一地区。但在加拿大曼尼托巴省北部哈德逊湾西岸的瓦布斯克国家公园,我们的摄像机首次捕捉到了所有的三种熊。

My colleagues and I began studying thebears in Wapusk in 2011, after more polar bears than expected began visitingnew field camps in the park. We used remote cameras — a widespread, economicaland non-invasive tool for studying wildlife — to find out why and when thepolar bears were visiting these camps.

在数量多于预期的北极熊开始造访公园中的新野营区之后,我的同伴和我从2011年开始在瓦布斯克研究这些熊。我们利用遥感摄影机(一种为研究野生动物而广泛布置、符合经济且非侵入性的工具),来找出北极熊为什么以及何时会造访这些营地。



But Wapusk also lies along the northernedge of the boreal forest, where black bears are well established. We saw themtoo, but we were surprised that their visits to our most southerly cameras, onthe Owl River, were almost as numerous as those by polar bears.

但瓦布斯克所处位置也在北方针叶林的北缘沿线,那里的黑熊颇具规模。我们也观察到了它们,但让我们吃惊的是,它们对我们置于猫头鹰河最南端摄影机的造访,几乎和北极熊一样多。



Grizzly bears visited all three study sitesalong the coast of Wapusk National Park. (Douglas Clark), CC BY-ND

(图解:灰熊造访了瓦布斯克国家公园沿岸所有的三个研究站)

What was new to us were the grizzlies. Itwasn’t just one or two transient bears, but several, and we suspect at leastone of them may be denning there.

对我们来说,灰熊是新出现的情况。这可不只是一两只过路的熊,而是好几只,而且我们怀疑它们中至少有一只可能一直穴居在那里。



What we’ve seen in Wapusk is consistentwith how researchers expect northern carnivore populations to respond toclimate change. The waking life of all bear species is governed by their needto accumulate fat stores for the next hibernation, so this overlap is mostlikely a response to changes in the availability of bear foods. Which foods, however,we don’t yet know.

我们在瓦布斯克已经观察到的,符合研究者们对北方食肉动物种群对气候变化反应的预期。所有清醒状态的熊类都会被为下一次冬眠累积脂肪储存的需要所支配,所以这种重叠最有可能是一种对熊能吃到的食物发生变化作出的反应。然而,具体是哪些种类的食物是我们尚不清楚的。



Three polar bears walk past a camera trapin Wapusk National Park. (Douglas Clark), CC BY-ND

(图解:三头北极熊行经一个触发式相机,瓦布斯克国家公园)

We also don’t know how these speciesinteract with each other, but we predict that grizzlies will benefit most sincethey dominate both other species elsewhere.

我们也不清楚这些物种是如何彼此互动的,但我们的预测是:灰熊会受益最大,因为在别处,它们能宰制其他两个物种。

Grizzly bears have displaced and eatenblack bears and polar bears in other places, and polar-grizzly hybrids havebeen documented in the Northwest Territories. It’s clear that the potential forhybridization exists in western Hudson Bay too.

在别的地方,灰熊已经取代并猎食了黑熊和北极熊,而且在西北地区已经记录到了北极熊-灰熊的混种。很明显,在哈德逊湾西部也存在着杂交的可能性。



Change has become increasingly central inecological theory, and its implications have produced heated debate within theconservation community.

变化已经在生态学理论中变得越来越枢要,而且就其含义,在保育群体内已经产生了激烈争论。



Black bears are well established in theboreal forest of Wapusk National Park.

(图解:黑熊在瓦布斯克国家公园的北方针叶林中颇具规模)

This matters for the grizzly because itsexpansion into the Arctic has been portrayed as a threat to polar bears. Someargue such a threat should be removed.

对灰熊来说,这是很重要的,因为其深入北极的扩张已经被刻画成对北极熊的一种威胁。有些人主张,应当消除这种威胁。

In 1998, when I worked in Wapusk, I wastold by a manager to get rid of the first grizzly we saw. (I didn’t.)

1998年,当时我在瓦布斯克工作,有个管理层人员要我除掉我们见到的第一头灰熊(我没有这么做。)



Wapusk, however, is a co-managed park thataims to integrate scientific and traditional knowledge with human values. It isequipped for addressing these hard questions. And the question of how tonavigate increasing environmental variability more effectively — whilerecognizing the stakes local people have in these conservation decisions — isthe biggest challenge environmental managers face today.

然而,瓦布斯克是一个共管式公园,旨在将科学、传统学问与人类价值观结合起来。它为处理这些难以回答的问题做好了准备。而如何更有效地应对不断增多的环境变异性,同时认识到当地人与这些保育决策的利害关系,是环境管理者今天面临的最大挑战。

This particular story of the three bearsisn’t over, and we don’t know how it will end. Consequently, we need to bring aheavy dose of humility to answering the scientific and societal questions thethree bears have handed us.

三种熊的这个特殊的故事还没有结束,而且我们不知道它将如何结束。因此,我们需要怀着极大之谦逊来回答这三种熊交给我们的这些科学和社会问题。