Pre-baiting has begun in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, an important step in an ongoing effort to monitor grizzly bear populations.
According to a statement from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, they monitor the grizzly population as required under the Endangered Species Act.
“Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team will begin field captures on June 1 and continue through October 16. Capture operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs,” a statement from the IGBST said on May 27. “It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.”
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The IGBST is comprised of the United States Geological Survey; the National Park Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; Wyoming Game and Fish, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Idaho Fish and Game, Wind River Fish and Game
In order to attract bears, the IGBST says biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential capture sites are baited and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, culvert traps or foot snares will be used to capture the bears.
“Once captured, bears are handled in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols developed by the IGBST,” the statement continued. “Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.”