WEST GLACIER — A long-term program to monitor grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem continues this summer in Glacier National Park.
Park officials said Wednesday that wildlife managers will begin work next week to deploy bait stations, trail cameras and traps to capture grizzly bears.
The bait stations and trap sites will be marked with brightly colored warnings and closure signs. Visitors are asked to respect the posted signs and stay out of the bait station sites. The trapping efforts will continue into October.
The grizzly bear monitoring program began in 2004 and is led the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
State, federal, park and tribal wildlife biologists try to maintain a sample of 10 radio-collared female grizzly bears in the park, where an estimated 300 grizzly bears live.
Recent bear sightings along the Going-to-the-Sun Road mean that bears have emerged from hibernation and are venturing out looking for food in and around Glacier National Park. Both grizzly and black bears live and travel in the park.
“Glacier National Park is bear country and park visitors, including bike riders, should be alert for spring bear activity, and be familiar with responsible actions to maintain human and bear safety,” Glacier Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said.
Visitors should report any bear sightings or signs of bear activity to the nearest visitor center, ranger station or by calling 406-888-7800 as soon as possible.
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