The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is scheduled to start trapping bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem August 8.
Trapping will last from then until October 31st.
According to a IGBST press release, biologists will be baiting and trapping both grizzlies and black bears; the captured bears will be anesthetized and fitted with radio collars. Biologists will also take scientific samples from the bears. From the press release:
None of the trap sites in the park will be located near any established hiking trials or backcountry campsites, and all trap sites will have posted warnings for the closure perimeter. Potential access points will also be posted with warning signs for the closure area. Backcountry users who come upon any of these posted areas need to heed the warnings and say out of the area.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team was established in 1973 to collaboratively monitor and manage ecosystem bears on an interagency basis. The gathering of critical data on the protected bears is part of a long-term research effort required under the Endangered Species Act to help wildlife managers implement programs to support the ongoing recovery of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population.
The IGBST is composed of representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Fish and Game Department, and the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
Trapping and collaring of Yellowstone bears is nothing new. It happens every year. What makes this round of IGBST activity noteworthy is it follows an announcement from the USFWS, saying the agency wants to delist Yellowstone area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act. State wildlife agencies have approved the measure, with environmentalists and tribal representatives opposing the measure. Further, a former IGBST researcher has come out against delisting the bears.
Last year, when the IGBST started their trapping season in June, we reported the team was exploring whether the Yellowstone population was stable enough to be delisted.
For more information on the IGBST’s grizzly bear research, please call 406-994-6675.