New Grizzly Bear Study within Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem

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.

For more information:


4 thoughts on “New Grizzly Bear Study within Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem

  1. Greetings,

    I would appreciate information on how I may be able to participate in this upcoming study. Will you be hiring, seeking volunteers, etc. for this project? If so, how, when?



    • Dennis, this study will be conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service (Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai National Forests), Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

  2. Ania, I do not pretend to be an expert on DNA sequencing and information, but from what I do understand the researchers can tell sex, individual and genetic relatedness from the information. What I mean by genetic relatedness is that the researchers call tell if one particular bear is related to another, indicating off-spring,or possible a maternal relation. It is very similar to the genetic work that is sometime done to look at human relations. Very exciting and cutting edge work. Wayne Kassworm, who is one of the researchers involved has shown perviously what almost resembles a family tree for the grizzly bears within this ecosystem. When looking at DNA and determining individual, this information is useful so that a particular bear is not double counted if it visits one of the sample sites. This way a more accurate ‘counting’ of bears within the ecosystem can be determined and not over estimated. Does this clarify for you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.