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Bears Den

Brown bears use what they’ve learned in the past to choose den sites that help them save the most energy. Bears go into hibernation when food is scarce during certain times of the year. In the Arctic, where winter can last up to eight months, brown bears need to save as much energy as possible while in their dens. We found 65 dens with 33 brown bears with GPS collars used from 2014 to 2017 in and around Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. We learned that bears dig their dens on steeper slopes (average: 31°) to help with drainage and stability and in places with a lot of snow to help keep the den warm. Both of these features help save energy. Bears made their dens even warmer by lining the floor and entrance with grasses, moss, and other plant material. Website