Another sure sign of spring in this corner of Montana: Wildlife personnel are busy relocating nuisance bears . . .
As bear activity picks up, wildlife personnel recently had to relocate a grizzly bear from south of Eureka into Glacier National Park.
According to Erik Wenum, a bear and lion specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, a 6-year-old 340-pound male grizzly bear was captured on April 6 south of Eureka after killing a calf earlier in the week. USDA Wildlife Services personnel assisted in capturing the grizzly…
Wenum says four black bears were captured in the last week in the Columbia Falls and Whitefish areas. This level of activity indicates that while many bears may still be denned or close to their dens some have dropped to lower elevations in search of foods, according to FWP.
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Despite increased potential for conflict, grizzly bears deaths remain steady . . .
With improved habitat security on federal lands and continued public education, the number of grizzly bear mortalities in the Northern Rockies was relatively low at 18 in 2012…
“Our mortalities are remaining pretty steady,” said Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I think it’s the ongoing efforts of the bear managers, both the tribal and state guys, dealing with a lot of conflicts and working with a lot of new land owners.”
The work of state bear management specialists such as Tim Manley, who covers the Flathead area, has been significant because of the encroachment of homes into bear habitat and a growing bear population that continues to use those areas.
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A good article by Rob Chaney posted recently to the Missoulian . . .
As the Rocky Mountain grizzly bear population grows, its managers have encountered something of a vision problem: They’re not sure what success looks like.
“We have a pretty good road map on how to recover grizzly bears – reduce mortality and provide them a place to live, and bears will slowly increase,” Idaho Game and Fish Director Jim Unsworth told his colleagues at the Interagency Grizzly Bear Commission last week in Missoula. “I’d like to see us move more into proven areas instead of hanging out in the past.”
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