By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A number of grizzlies will be captured from Yellowstone National Park beginning next week, but it’s all in the name of research.
According to a news release from the National Park Service, field captures will begin on June 27 and continue through Aug. 28. The captures are conducted by biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.
These captures are part of an ongoing effort required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the grizzly population.
Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone remain on the Endangered Species List, despite the fact target numbers for the population to be considered safe were reached several years ago. The issue is a subject of ongoing litigation involving the state and federal governments and environmental organizations seeking to keep the bears on the list.
Capture operations can include a variety of activities, such as using natural food sources to attract the bears.
Potential capture sites are baited with natural foods and then culvert traps or foot snares are set in the area. Once captured, the bears are handled in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols.
All areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs. It’s critical the public heed those signs, the Park Service release said.