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F&G begins annual grizzly bear research

by JEREMY NICHOLSON Contributing Writer
| June 8, 2021 1:00 AM

Idaho Fish and Game will begin annual research trapping efforts for grizzly bears in the Upper Snake Region beginning in June. To avoid conflicts with hunters, early operations will be confined to areas where hunting is prohibited. More intensive capture efforts will begin after spring hunting seasons conclude.

Grizzly trapping will primarily take place in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest within the caldera in Island Park, west of Highway 20 along the Centennial Mountain Range, and in the Cave Falls area near the Wyoming border. Trapping efforts will continue into late August.

When trapping operations are underway, the area around the trap site along with all trails and roads leading to the vicinity of the trap site will be marked with bright warning and closure signs. It is extremely important that the public respect these signs and not enter posted areas.

Captured bears are sedated and handled in accordance with strict protocols developed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Bears that meet defined criteria will be fitted with a radio collar.

By observing radio-collared females, biologists are able to document age of first reproduction, average litter size, cub and yearling survival and how often females produce a litter. Data collected from both sexes provide estimates of survival among different sex and age classes, causes of mortality and a better understanding of habitat use.