Kodiak researchers track early growth of berries in 2016

    Biologists are working to figure out why berries in Kodiak have been coming out considerably earlier in the last two years and how bears could be affected by the change.

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — Biologists are working to figure out why berries in Kodiak have been coming out considerably earlier in the last two years and how bears could be affected by the change.

    The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that berry season is peaking closer to the salmon run, bears' other main food source. Biologist Bill Pyle with the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge says the overlap could be a concern, because all the major resources would be available for a shorter amount of time.

    The refuge is surveying salmonberries, blueberries, elderberries and devil's club to determine whether warmer temperatures have impacted their growth.

    Despite the early growth, berries and salmon appear to be in abundance in Kodiak, compared to the late 2000s when the refuge reported a sharp decline in the bear population.

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