Researchers trapping grizzly bears in southwest Montana

As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area, the U.S. Geological Survey will be trapping grizzly bears on private land in southwest Montana.

Scientific trapping operations will be conducted on private land in the southern Madison Mountains, Montana, according to a statement released by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. The statement did not detail specific areas where trapping will take place.

Work is carried out in agreement with landowners, and biologists will be working until July 15th on private land in southwest Montana.  Trapping operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs.  The agency advices that it is critical that the public heed these signs.

Government biologists say that monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

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, traps will be used to capture the bears. Once trapped, the bears are handled in accordance with protocols developed by the IGBST.

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 important that the public heed these signs and not venture into an area that has been posted.

For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts, call the IGBST hotline at 406-994-6675.

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