Analysis of DNA data originally collected for a grizzly bear study indicates about 600 black bears live in Glacier Park . . .
A trio of researchers recently concluded that Glacier National Park’s black bear population is about 600 — roughly one black bear for every 2,167 acres.
The study, conducted by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Kate Kendall and colleagues Amy McCleod and Jeff Stetz, is based on nearly 1,800 black bear hair samples collected during a 2004 grizzly bear DNA study.
Researchers gathered hair samples using “bear traps,” with a scent station used to attract bears inside a barbed wire fence that snagged their hair, or by attaching small pieces of barbed wire to rub trees. Both grizzly and black bears select trees they regularly like to rub on. DNA in the hair follicles was analyzed to identify species and sex as well as individual bears.