The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee approved a DNA hair snare study within the Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bear ecosystem to be conducted over the next few years. This study will parallel a similar study that was conducted within the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem several years ago. This study will be conducted over the entire Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem, which lies partially within Idaho and Montana states. The ecosystem will be divided in approximately 395 grids, which are (5km x 5km) in size. A sampling station will be established within each grid. Each sampling grid will include a hair snagging station which is designed to collect hair from bears and other wildlife that are attracted to the grid station. Bears are attracted to the grid station by a scent lure and hair samples are collected by barbed wire without injury to the animals. Teams of scientists then collect the hair samples regularly for analysis. A visual analysis will determine species of bear and further genetic analysis can be used to identify individual bear and sex. The outcome will allow scientists and managers to best determine the number of grizzly bears that are within that ecosystem within a high degree of statistical accuracy and what steps may be needed to further recovery efforts.
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