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Biologists to begin grizzly, black bear captures in Yellowstone National Park for 2024 research

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 25, 2024

Yellowstone National Park and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) announced on Wednesday that biologists are set to resume scientific capture operations for grizzly and black bears in Yellowstone National Park.

IGBST biologists will conduct field captures beginning May 1, 2024, through Oct. 31, according to a park press release. The release said the captures are done as part of ongoing grizzly/black bear research and management efforts, and "as required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem."

According to the release, none of the trap sites will be located near established hiking trails or backcountry campsites in the park, and all trap sites will have posted warnings for the closure perimeter.

The release continued:

"Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. In order to attract bears, biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential capture sites are baited with these natural foods 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.

Whenever bear capture activities are being conducted for scientific purposes, the area around the site will be posted with bright warning signs to inform the public of the activities occurring. These signs are posted along the major access points to the capture site. It is important that the public heed these signs and do not venture into an area that has been posted."

You can call the IGBST hotline at 406-994-6675 for more information on bear capture efforts, and more information about grizzly bear research and monitoring is available at the IGBST website.