YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Grizzly bear pre-baiting and scientific capture operations will begin next week within Yellowstone National Park, park officials say.
Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) will begin field captures on Aug. 9 and continue through Oct. 28.
Capture operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs to inform the public of the activities occurring.
“It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs,” says the park.
Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to the ongoing recovery of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and such monitoring is required under the Endangered Species Act.
Biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed like deer and elk in order to attract bears. Potential capture sites are baited with these natural foods, and if indicators point to grizzly bears in the area, culvert traps or sometimes foot snares, will be used to capture the bears. Once captured, bears are handled in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols developed by the IGBST and approved by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.