If you’re planning any backcountry hikes this fall, you may want to be aware of this: scientific Yellowstone bear trapping by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) and National Park Service runs from Aug. 21 through Oct. 31.
The research monitors the population of grizzly bears and black bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Team members will bait and capture bears at several remote sites within Yellowstone National Park. Once captured, the bears are anesthetized to allow wildlife biologists to radio-collar and collect scientific samples for study. All Yellowstone bear trapping and handling are done in accordance with strict protocols developed by the IGBST.
None of the capture sites in the park will be located near any established hiking trails or backcountry campsites, and all 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 stay 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 bears is part of a long-term research and monitoring effort to help wildlife managers devise and implement programs to support the ongoing conservation of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear and black bear populations.
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.