The Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project (and a Pole-Dancing Bear)

grizzly bear photo

Photo: Public domain

Better Understanding Grizzly Bears to Better Protect Them

Get ready for the acronyms. The Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) is part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and one of their project is monitoring the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) in northwest Montana. It's "one of the last strongholds of the grizzly bear in the lower 48 states" and probably is home to the greatest population of grizzly bears. The video below was taken by a USGS camera that was triggered by a motion sensor (the stripper music was later added...).

Why do they monitor bears? Because "little information exists about the bears in this region" and to protect the species, we need to understand it and its ecosystem better.

Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) once roamed most of the North American continent. Habitat destruction and direct conflicts with humans have reduced their range by 99% in the lower 48 states (right, click on map for larger version). In 1975 grizzly bears were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. [...]

Managers and biologists are working to identify population size, trend, survival, and the corridors that link separate populations. Advances in genetic technology allow us to address these parameters through the identification of species, sex, and individuals from DNA extracted from bear hair without ever handling a bear. This project will apply these techniques in conjunction with statistical models to estimate the number of grizzly bears inhabiting the NCDE.

To learn more about the project, check out this page.

To see more videos captured with motion-sensor equipped camera, go to this page and this page. My favorite video probably is this one. The bear goes to the camera and smells it.

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