Bad bear behavior not due to California drought
What motivates some bears to stay awake while others hibernate is still a mystery to scientists, according to Roger Baldwin, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis. He has conducted extensive research on bear behavior.
When small mammals hibernate, their heart rate and body temperature drop and stay low for several months, the article said. Black bears, on the other hand, are much less extreme: They crank down their metabolism, heart rate,
Generally, temperature has a smaller influence on hibernation behavior than the availability of food. But bears are such proficient omnivores, said California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jason Holley, that even a drought probably isn't enough to disrupt their hibernation habits, unless it continues for several more years.
(This article, by Jeannette Warnert, is reprinted from the UC ANR News Blog, Jan. 23, 2014, http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=12677)