Park asks visitors to avoid grizzly bear traps

Glacier National Park is asking visitors to avoid areas where wildlife officials have installed bait stations and traps for an ongoing grizzly bear population monitoring project.
Beginning next week and continuing through October, state and federal wildlife biologists will deploy bait stations, automated cameras and traps to capture and monitor grizzlies within the park. The bait stations and trap sites are marked with brightly colored warning and closure signs.
Glacier National Park wildlife biologists attempt to maintain a sample of up to 10 radio-collared female grizzly bears out of the park’s estimated population of 300.
The interagency grizzly bear monitoring program began in 2004 as a collaborative effort among federal, state and tribal agencies.
Monitoring program reports can be accessed at fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/grizzlyBear/monitoring.html.
Recent bear sightings along Going-to-the-Sun Road mean that grizzly and black bears have emerged from their dens in search of food, primarily green vegetation and the carcasses of animals that died during the winter.
“Glacier National Park is bear country and park visitors, including bike riders, should be alert for spring bear activity, and be familiar with responsible actions to maintain human and bear safety,” Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said in a press release Thursday.
To avoid surprise encounters with bears, visitors to the park should travel in groups and make loud noises by calling out and/or clapping their hands at frequent intervals, especially near streams and at blind spots on trails.
Visitors should never approach any wildlife and instead use binoculars, telescopes or telephoto lenses to get closer looks. A minimum viewing distance of 100 yards from any bear is recommended.
Those traveling in the park should always carry bear spray, which is considered the best method for fending off bears, preventing injury to both the person and animal.
Carrying firearms within national parks and wildlife refuges is allowed, but park and state officials ask people to use guns only as a last resort. Wounding a bear with a firearm can place the shooter in even greater danger.
Visitors should report any bear sightings or signs of bear activity to the nearest visitor center or ranger station or call (406) 888-7800. For more information about bears and how to recreate safely in Glacier National Park, visit www.nps.gov/glac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LET THE ADVENTURE BEGINTM