Grizzly Trapping In Gallatin & Caribou-Targhee

USGS, Bear Hunting Magazine

Earlier this summer as part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the distribution of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) began scientific trapping operations in that portion of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest inside of the caldera in the Island Park area. Data collected from these animals is an important facet of ongoing management of grizzlies in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. So far biologists have been able to trap and radio collar eight grizzlies, but need to extend the trapping period until the end of July in order to trap enough bears to put out the allotted number of collars in circulation out on the landscape.

According to Regional Conservation Educator Gregg Losinski, "It is important for the public to understand that we are not radio collaring and keeping track of every bear in our corner of the state. None of the hundreds of black bears are collared and certainly not all of the grizzlies. Just about everywhere in the Upper Snake Region is potentially bear country, home to one or both species."

Idaho's biologists are part of the larger Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST). Similar scientific trapping operations are currently occurring across the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Grizzlies being trapped for scientific purposes are generally bears that have not had run-ins with humans. Management trapping operations for bears that have gotten into conflicts with humans or human related activities are handled in a different manner.

Original News Flash 7/6/2012:
As part of ongoing studies required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the USGS is informing the public that pre-baiting and scientific trapping operations will be conducted in the Gallatin National Forest, Montana. Biologists, with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), will be in the following areas during July through August:

• Drainages associated with the southern end of Gallatin Crest, Gallatin National Forest

• Southwestern corner of the Absaroka Range, Gallatin National Forest

• Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness south of the Boulder Divide, Gallatin National Forest

Whenever bear trapping 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 trapping site. It is critical that the public heed these signs and do not venture in to the closure area.

Trapping operations can include a variety of activities. In order to attract bears, biologists utilize natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential trapping sites are baited with these and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, traps will be used to capture them.

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