Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bear Update

Brad Young, MDWFP Black
Bear Biologist, with cubs
from recent den check
Spring Den Checks
 Show Bright Future
 For Mississippi Bears

Some people would say it's crazy to try and sneak up on a mother bear while she's sleeping. They are probably right. But for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Black Bear Program, it is just part of the job description. During the spring of every year since 2005, biologists have conducted "den checks" on female bears throughout the state. The females are tracked to their den locations via airplane and then on foot by following a signal transmitted from a fitted collar.

And where does a mother bear choose to den for the winter and have her young? Like people, each bear is different. Some mother bears choose cavities high in the tops of trees or brush piles of residual logging debris. Others pick impenetrable briar thickets while some simply dig a large hole under a fallen log.

Whatever her den site preference, one thing is certain - they are never easy to get to. Rope systems are used to climb to bears denning in tree cavities while ground-denning bears are approached very quietly. Very quietly. The mother bear is tranquilized with a dart and, once soundly asleep, is given a health exam and fitted with a new tracking collar. The cubs are moved to another location close by where they are weighed, measured, and injected with a small microchip, which will identify them when they become adults. Once the work-up of mother and cubs is complete, the cubs are placed back with their mother and the family is left in peace.

Continue reading this article and more at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks News Update HERE.

More info, videos and photos about MDWFP's Black Bear program available HERE

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

1 comment:

Bill Shearer said...

That is awesome. Cool job and great work!