- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Federal biologists will begin trapping and tagging grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park this coming week.

The effort by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team is aimed at keeping tabs on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzlies.

“Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution, as well as their food selection and other activities, is vital to recovery of grizzlies across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” a statement from the study team said.

The grizzly trapping in the Tetons will continue until mid-October.

All trapping operations are located in the backcountry and away from hiking trails and campsites. The precise locations where the study team sets its traps are not publicized.

“They don’t give that information out, partly because they don’t want people flocking to their sites,” Grand Teton park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (https://bit.ly/S180AM ). “They’ve had interferences before.”

In the Greater Yellowstone area, there have been incidents related to the release of recently-trapped grizzly bears.

In June 2010, a 70-year-old botanist was mauled and killed by a grizzly that hours before had been caught, tranquilized, collared and released by study team researchers near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. Two years later, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the government in acquitting the study team in a wrongful death suit.

In part because of the incident, the study team has made changes to its protocol for marking grizzly trapping areas.

“All sites will be posted with bright-colored warning signs around the closure perimeter,” the study team’s statement said. “Potential access points will also be posted with warning signs.”

“All backcountry users who come upon any of these posted areas must obey the warnings and stay out of the closure area,” the statement said. “It is critical that all members of the public respect these warning signs.”

Skaggs said grizzly bears were last targeted in Grand Teton park either two or three years ago.


Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, https://www.jhnewsandguide.com

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