Bear poo plays a significant role in Alaska’s ecosystem

In Alaska, defecating brown and black bears, not birds, are the main distributors of berry seeds. By dispersing the seeds through their scat, bears unintentionally promote the growth of the berry‐producing shrubs that feed them. The scat of a single bear can contain tens of thousands of seeds. The seeds are then further spread by small mammals which bury them in the ground. Brown bears disperse the most seeds. During the summer months when their diet switches from berries to salmon, black bears temporarily take over the role of main seed dispersers. A drastic reduction in bear numbers in Alaska would very likely cause a reduction in berry‐producing shrubs, changing the ecosystem.