By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Nearly 20 bears were captured over the summer in northwest Wyoming by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The captures were part of the department’s ongoing efforts to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A total of 18 bears were captured during the summer, 12 north and west of Dubois and six north of Jackson, the department said.
From July 27 to Aug. 21, six different grizzlies were captured southeast of the Moran Junction, with five of them being collared. A sub-adult male bear was tagged and biological samples were taken, but he wasn’t radio-collared due to his small size.
Two black bears were captured in the Jackson region, but were released unhandled.
Information from the collared grizzlies provides data on survival, reproduction, distribution, habitat use and movements of the population.
After their capture, the bears are released on site and monitored in accordance with guidelines developed by the Game and Fish Department and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.
Each summer, Game and Fish Department biologists and other researchers conduct grizzly bear observation flights to document grizzly numbers, distribution and reproduction. These observation flights have been conducted in the greater Yellowstone area since the 1990s.
The annual monitoring of this population is vital to the ongoing management and conservation of grizzly bears in Wyoming.
Information obtained through these efforts is used to assess the status and health of grizzly bears in the ecosystem and provides insight into population dynamics critical to demonstrate the continued recovery of the Greater Yellowstone population.