Yellowstone National Park news: Public urged to be aware of grizzly bear captures

When bear capture activities are ongoing, areas nearby will have bright warning signs which alert the public to the fact that bear capturing is occurring. These signs are posted along major access points to the capture site, Yellowstone said.

The NPS said “it is important that the public heed these signs and do not venture into an area that has been posted”.

Capturing grizzly bears allows their distribution to be tracked, and the US National Park Service (NPS) said that this activity is “vital” to the bears’ recovery in the region.

The capturing activities are undertaken by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST).

The team has been using radio collars to track grizzly bears within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) since 1975, the US Geological Survey says.

In a statement the NPS said: “As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the US Geological Survey, in conjunction with the National Park Service, is working to inform the public that pre-baiting and scientific capture operations are once again about to begin within Yellowstone National Park.

“Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) will begin field captures on June 27 and continue through August 28.

“Capture operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs. It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.

Yellowstone added that monitoring grizzly bear distribution is “vital” to their recovery in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

To attract the bears, biologists use natural food sources such as deer and elk that have been killed roads recently.

Areas that are identified as capture sites are then baited with such food, and traps are laid to capture any bears that come to investigate.

These traps include culvert traps – essentially a large metal cylinder with a sliding gate that falls down behind a bear when it walks inside – and foot snares.

According to the statement released by Yellowstone, the bears are then handled “in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols developed by the IGBST”.

Bears are captured and tracked ihe name of conservation.

The USGS says that since the IGBST began putting radio collars on bears in the area, more than 830 have been tracked.

Typically, bears wear the collars for around two to three years, the USGS claimed.

The Endangered Species Act – enforced by the US Fish & Wildlife Service – states that methods including “live trapping” may be among the methods regarded as “conversation”.

It reads: “The terms “conserve”, “conserving”, and “conservation” mean to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened speies to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this Act are no longer necessary.”

Yellowstone is known for its geothermal activity, leading to speculation around when the supervolcano there might erupt.

Meanwhile, speculation continues as to when the Yellowstone volcano might erupt.

In 2017 scientists from Arizona State University published a study that suggested the volcano could develop the conditions that would be needed for an eruption faster than previously thought.

The scientists monitored fossilised ash from the most recent eruption hundreds of thousands of years ago, and their study suggested that the conditions for eruption including temperature changes built in over decades, rather than centuries.

Graduate student Hannah Shamloo said it was “shocking” how fast a volcano could go from apparent dormancy to near-eruption conditions.