ISLAND PARK – As part of ongoing efforts to monitor the distribution of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will begin pre-baiting and scientific trapping operations in Island Park and Centennial Mountain areas.
Trapping operations can involve a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs. These signs will remain whenever bear trapping activities are being conducted and for a period of three days afterwards. It is important that the public heed these signs and not enter an area that has been posted.
Trapping will primarily take place in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest inside within the caldera in Island Park and at locations west of Highway 20 along the Centennial Mountain Range. Operations will conclude at the end of August.
In order to attract bears, biologists utilize natural food sources such as road–killed big game animals as bait. Bears are captured using snares or culvert traps. The bears are then anesthetized and handled in accordance with strict protocols. Bears that meet certain criteria are fitted with a radio collar.
Monitoring collared bears provide managers and researchers with information such as daily and seasonal movements, habitat use, causes of mortality, and timing of den entry and emergence.
Idaho Fish and Game is a member of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. This team works together to monitor the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly population.
For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts or Idaho’s role in grizzly bear management, call 208-525-7290.