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Annual grizzly bear monitoring program begins in Glacier National Park

Closeup of a grizzly bear.

Glacier National Park and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) have started their annual grizzly bear monitoring program this week. The program helps researchers better understand bear population trends and health.

Glacier National Park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman said staff will use bait stations, automated cameras and traps to capture, collar and monitor bears.

“We have a population of roughly 300 bears that come and go through the park and of those we have about 10 female grizzly bears we like to have in the monitoring system,” Kerzman said.

The program began in the mid-2000s. Montana FWP spokesman Dillon Tabish said this year, monitoring will focus on the North Fork and east side of the park.

“And this long term monitoring program really helps us keep a close eye on the vital population parameters of grizzly bears, which are the females, and assessing their survival and their reproductive rates and just that population trend,” Tabish said.

Areas will be clearly marked with bright signs and information about which parts of the park to avoid. Officials say visitors should be cautious and aware of these places for their safety.

The monitoring starts this month and will go as late as October.

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