Grizzly Habitat Check Starts
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and Tribal wildlife managers want to let KYSS listeners know that pre-baiting and scientific capture operations of grizzly bears are once again about to begin in parts of western Montana. Work starts this month. Throughout the summer months, biologist will work in the Blackfoot Valley, along the Rocky Mountain Front, in the Swan and Clearwater River Valleys, within Glacier National Park, and in the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. Capturing will continue intermittently through the end of October. Traps will also be set periodically on private and public lands where bear/human conflicts are occurring. All areas where work is being conducted will have warning signs posted along the major access points to the trapping site. It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs. Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and population trends are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzlies. 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 natural foods and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, snares or culvert traps will be used to capture the bears. Once captured, the bears are sedated, studied, and released in accordance with strict protocols.