As part of an Interagency Program to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and Tribal wildlife managers are working to inform the public that pre-baiting and scientific capture operations are once again about to begin in parts of western Montana.
Biologists will begin to work in their respective jurisdictions this month. Throughout the summer months, biologist will work in the Blackfoot Valley, along the Rocky Mountain Front, in the Swan and Clearwater River Valleys, within Glacier National Park, and in the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. Capturing will continue intermittently through the end of October. Traps will also be set periodically on private and public lands where bear/human conflicts are occurring.
All areas where work is being conducted will have warning signs posted along the major access points to the trapping site. It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.
Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and population trend are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the NCDE. In order to attract bears, biologists utilize natural food sources such as fresh road–killed deer and elk. Potential trapping sites are baited with these natural foods and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, snares or culvert traps will be used to capture the bears. Once captured, the bears are sedated, studied, and released in accordance with strict protocols.
For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts call FWP in Missoula at 406-542-5500, FWP in Kalispell at 406-752-5501, and the FWP Bear Management Office in Choteau at 406-466-5100. Officials in Glacier Park can be contacted at 406-888-7800, on the Blackfeet Reservation at 406-338-7207, or on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Reservation at 406-883-2888.