Tag Archives: bear management

Nuisance Columbia Falls grizzly moved to North Fork

Grizzly bear release in Whale Creek drainage, April 11, 2016
Grizzly bear release in Whale Creek drainage, April 11, 2016

Yet another delinquent grizzly was moved to the North Fork earlier this month. The Hungry Horse News has the story. Also, check out the video . . .

A 3-year-old male grizzly bear was captured April 10 at a private residence along Tamarack Road northwest of Columbia Falls. The 211 pound bear was captured by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear and lion specialist Erik Wenum after the resident reported a bear had killed some of his young chickens.

The young bear was anesthetized, radio-collared, and released by grizzly bear management specialist Tim Manley. The Interagency decision was made to release the bear back into the wild since it had no previous known conflicts. The grizzly bear was released on the afternoon of April 11 in the Whale Creek drainage of the North Fork of the Flathead, 34 straight line miles from where it was caught.

Read more . . .

See also: Video of the bear being released

Grizzly and black bear activity picks up in Northwest Montana

Black Bear
Black Bear

From a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release . . .

A 3 year old male grizzly bear was captured April 10th at a private residence along Tamarack Road northwest of Columbia Falls. The 211 pound bear was captured by FWP Bear and Lion Specialist Erik Wenum after the resident reported a bear had killed some of his young chickens.

The young bear was anesthetized, radio-collared, and released by Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley. The Interagency decision was made to release the bear back into the wild since it had no previous known conflicts. The grizzly bear was released on the afternoon of April 11th in the Whale Creek drainage of the North Fork of the Flathead, 34 straight line miles from where it was caught.

Black bear activity has picked up as well. FWP Bear and Lion Specialist Erik Wenum reports that he has handled two problem bears in the last two days and is attempting to trap four other black bears that have ranged close to residences. Wenum reminds
residents to take down bird feeders, secure garbage, feed pets inside, clean up chicken and livestock feed, and in general remove all odorous substances that can draw bears.

On Monday morning, a radio tracking flight was conducted to locate radio-collared grizzly bears in the Swan and Mission mountains. A total of 8 radio-collared grizzly bears were located. Seven of the bears were out of their dens, but still in the upper elevations in the snow. A total of 16 grizzly bears were observed which included cubs, yearlings, and two-year-olds that were with their mothers.

Additional flights are planned during the month of April to locate radio-collared grizzly bears in the Whitefish Range and the Middle Fork of the Flathead. One of the main objectives of the flights is to get visuals on adult females and the number of young they have when they first emerge from their dens. This allows biologists to track cub reproduction and cub survival throughout the year.

Manley reminds residents and recreationists to secure attractants and carry bear spray while in bear country. Residents can also protect their chickens, beehives, and other livestock from bears by properly installing and maintaining an electric fence. For more information you can visit the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/ or at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/.

See also: Bears emerging early have run-ins with Montana residents (Missoulian)

‘Twenty-five grizzly bears a year die in Yellowstone Park, but this one had a name’

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs

Here’s an interesting article that picks up social media’s impact on bear management and runs with it . . .

When a grizzly bear killed a hiker in Yellowstone National Park last year, millions of people took it personally.

“The public response was 100 percent different than two years ago,” said Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone’s bear manager. “Twenty-five grizzly bears a year die in Yellowstone Park, but this one had a name.”

Her name was Blaze, according to the outpouring of outrage on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets that appeared within a day of the Aug. 11 incident. Gunther and other park officials still aren’t sure it was that particular, often-photographed sow with two cubs (there were four such females with two cubs in the area). But they are sure their decisions, and all future debate about managing grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountain West, are under a new level of scrutiny.

Read more . . .

Feds aim to maintain current Greater Yellowstone grizzly numbers

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs

Federal wildlife managers edge closer to delisting the grizzly bear . . .

Wildlife managers will seek to maintain grizzly bear numbers in the three-state Yellowstone region near current levels as they move toward lifting protections for the threatened species, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The agency has set a management goal of 674 grizzly bears across the 19,300-square-mile region. That’s enough of the animals to “ensure a sustainable and resilient population,” spokeswoman Serena Baker said.

The population target is consistent with the average number of bears between 2002 and 2014. But it’s about 6 percent below the most recent tally of 714 bears at the end of 2014.

Read more . . .

Also read: Grizzly counting methods face scrutiny as delisting decision nears

Grizzlies keep pushing out onto high plains

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs

Grizzlies continue to move down from the mountains and out into their old range on the high plans . . .

As the lone grizzly bear expert for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Region Four office, Mike Madel hasn’t had any problems keeping busy along the Rocky Mountain Front. “It was a heck of a year,” he said during a presentation to regional grizzly experts Wednesday near Kalispell. “We had bears expanding way out into the plains again, and further than we’ve ever had them.”…

The range of grizzly bears along Montana’s Northern Continental Divide has roughly doubled since they received federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, and much of that new territory has been east of the Rockies.

Grizzlies are increasingly present on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, often following the winding, tree-lined drainages that extend east from the mountains. Even Great Falls might not be immune to the encroaching bears for long.

Read more . . .

Also read: State, federal grizzly bear experts to meet in Missoula

Montana FWP: Grizzly bear management update for Northwest Montana

Cinca - 5 May 2015

Here’s the latest report from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the status of grizzly bear management in this corner of the state . . .

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks grizzly bear management biologists and wardens have seen an increase in grizzly bear activity and conflicts during the month of September. Both black and grizzly bears are looking for food that will provide them with the layer of fat they need in order to survive the winter in their dens. Female grizzly bears with young are especially in need of additional food because they have been nursing their cubs and need the extra calories.

The following is an overview of the grizzly bear management activities that MT FWP has been involved with in the Tobacco, Flathead, and Swan Valley areas during the month of September.

Near Eureka, at least one young grizzly bear has been observed feeding on apples and walking through yards. Traps were set for that bear, but it hasn’t been captured yet.
West of Fortine, landowners buried a dead horse and noticed something had dug it up. They put up a trail camera and 3 different grizzly bears were photographed. One of the grizzly bears was wearing a radio collar that isn’t functioning properly. In an attempt to capture that bear and change the collar, two culvert traps were set. The horse was reburied and an electric fence was installed around the site along with remote cameras. On September 6th, an unmarked, young adult male grizzly bear visited the site and was captured. This male was radio-collared and translocated into the Whitefish Range. The radio-collared grizzly we were attempting to capture did not return to the trap site and the traps were pulled.

During that same week, a grizzly bear was breaking branches on fruit trees west of Lake Blaine. A temporary electric fence was installed and a culvert trap was set. The male grizzly bear returned, but was not captured. The electric fence was effective in preventing any additional damage to the trees and the trap was removed.

Right after Labor Day, an adult male grizzly bear was captured near Coram after killing chickens and eating apples. The 473 pound, 12 to 14 year old adult male grizzly had never been captured before. He was radio-collared and translocated to the Puzzle Creek drainage south of Marias Pass. The electric fence on that chicken coop has been upgraded to be more effective in deterring bears.

Continue reading Montana FWP: Grizzly bear management update for Northwest Montana

Montana FWP: Grizzly bear management update for Northwest Montana

Cinca, May 5, 2015 by W K Walker

Here’s a news release by Tim Manley of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Region 1, summarizing recent grizzly bear activity. There’s some good stuff here . . .

Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley has prepared the following summary in response to questions on grizzly bear activities in FWP Region 1:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks grizzly bear management biologists and wardens have seen an increase in grizzly bear activity and conflicts during the month of September. Both black and grizzly bears are looking for food that will provide them with the layer of fat they need in order to survive the winter in their dens. Female grizzly bears with young are especially in need of additional food because they have been nursing their cubs and need the extra calories.

The following is an overview of the grizzly bear management activities that MT FWP has been involved with in the Tobacco, Flathead, and Swan Valley areas during the month of September.

Near Eureka, at least one young grizzly bear has been observed feeding on apples and walking through yards. Traps were set for that bear, but it hasn’t been captured yet.

West of Fortine, landowners buried a dead horse and noticed something had dug it up. They put up a trail camera and 3 different grizzly bears were photographed. One of the grizzly bears was wearing a radio collar that isn’t functioning properly. In an attempt to capture that bear and change the collar, two culvert traps were set. The horse was reburied and an electric fence was installed around the site along with remote cameras. On September 6th, an unmarked, young adult male grizzly bear visited the site and was captured. This male was radio-collared and translocated into the Whitefish Range. The radio-collared grizzly we were attempting to capture did not return to the trap site and the traps were pulled.

During that same week, a grizzly bear was breaking branches on fruit trees west of Lake Blaine. A temporary electric fence was installed and a culvert trap was set. The male grizzly bear returned, but was not captured. The electric fence was effective in preventing any additional damage to the trees and the trap was removed.

Right after Labor Day, an adult male grizzly bear was captured near Coram after killing chickens and eating apples. The 473 pound, 12 to 14 year old adult male grizzly had never been captured before. He was radio-collared and translocated to the Puzzle Creek drainage south of Marias Pass. The electric fence on that chicken coop has been upgraded to be more effective in deterring bears.

On the 9th of September, a large male grizzly broke into a chicken coop near Ferndale. Electric fencing was put up to protect the remaining chickens. A culvert trap was set. The male grizzly returned, it did not kill any more chickens, but it didn’t enter the culvert trap. Two days later, an unmarked, adult female grizzly with a cub of the year was captured. The cub was captured the next night and both bears were translocated to the Sullivan Creek drainage.

The trap was reset for the adult male, and the next night, a radio-collared female grizzly that has two cubs of the year was captured at the site. An attempt was made to capture both of the cubs, but was unsuccessful. To avoid separating the female and cubs, with the permission of the residents, the adult female was released onsite during the night of September 17th.

On September 16th, a photo was taken by a landowner of a female grizzly bear with 3 cubs of the year south of Ferndale. On the 17th, FWP bear managers contacted residents south of Ferndale about the family group. They have not caused any conflicts, but residents with fruit trees and poultry were advised to pick their fruit and make sure the electric fencing around their poultry was functioning properly.

In the North Fork of the Flathead, north of Polebridge, a female grizzly bear with a yearling killed some chickens and has gotten access to chicken feed and grain. Bear managers are working with local residents to secure attractants have installed electric fencing.

In the Swan Valley, a subadult female grizzly bear was hit and killed by a vehicle along the Swan Highway on September 12th, near the Condon Work Center. There had been reports of a grizzly bear feeding on road-killed deer just south of that area in previous weeks.

From mid-September until the grizzly bears den during November is typically a busy time for bear conflict specialists. Most of the berries have fallen off and the bears switch to other foods which sometimes brings them into areas with an abundance of fruit trees and other attractants.

While it seems like a lot of bears are causing conflicts, out of the estimated population of 1000 grizzly bears in northwest Montana, it is only 20 to 30 grizzly bears that are involved with conflicts throughout the whole area.

The best way to avoid conflicts with bears is through prevention. Take down your birdfeeders until bears have denned, don’t leave garbage, pet food, or grain outside. Use electric fencing to protect your poultry, beehives, and fruit trees. Pick your fruit as soon as it is ripe. Contact Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks if you have a bear conflict or need information or assistance on securing attractants. You can get more information at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/.

Grizzly activity spikes in Northwest Montana

It’s that time of year again when bears are packing in the calories in preparation of hibernation . . .

Wildlife managers are reporting an increase in grizzly bear activity and conflicts across Northwest Montana as the winter denning season approaches.

Between 20 and 30 grizzlies were involved in conflicts throughout the region in recent weeks, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Northwest Montana has the largest population of grizzlies in the continental U.S. with over 1,000.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson John Fraley said activity tends to pick up in autumn as both black and grizzly bears search for larger amounts of food in order to survive the winter in their dens. Female grizzly bears with young are especially in need of additional food as they nurse their cubs and need the extra calories.

Read more . . .

Also read: Food-Conditioned Black Bear Removed From the Population To Ensure Public Safety (Glacier National Park)

Biologists look for ways to preserve grizzlies after delisting

Once the feds remove the grizzly bear from the endangered species list, what happens then? . . .

The grizzly bear answers to a lot of names.

Biologists call it Ursus arctos. They also describe it as an “ecological engineer” or “keystone predator.”

Wordy members of the general public call grizzlies “charismatic megafauna.” Others call them “vermin.” While running for president in 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain famously derided studying grizzlies as a classic example of “Washington, D.C., pork.”

McCain later apologized for misunderstanding the value of Montana grizzly bear researcher Kate Kendall’s DNA hair analysis…

Read more . . .

For bears, ‘chickens are the new garbage’

Bears like chickens, which is causing headaches for bear management personnel . . .

Wildlife and land managers say they are seeing gradual acceptance and improvements in public education and outreach for grizzly bear conservation, but there also are setbacks in some areas, most notably the proliferation of bear-attracting chicken coops across Western Montana.

“The hobby chicken farmer is one of the greatest threats to the grizzly bear these days,” Chris Servheen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator, said Wednesday in Hungry Horse.

Servheen was one of the speakers during a meeting of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem subcommittee, a multi-agency panel that guides bear conservation and management.

As state grizzly bear management specialist Jamie Jonkel puts it, “chickens are the new garbage.”

Read more . . .