Grizzly bear hair sampling  for DNA analysis

The lower 48 United States host five isolated sub-populations of grizzly bears. Concern regarding the small size of the population in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem of north-west Montana, prompted a recovery program. Bears are translocated from other regions and Canada to augment the Cabinet-Yaak population. Monitoring efforts involve gathering bear hair samples to enable genetic analysis. This will help identifying individual bears and population dynamics. For several years our PhD student Carlos Bedson has been assisting United States Fish & Wildlife Service with collection of grizzly bear hair for DNA analysis. The hair is collected from bear-frequented scratching posts or ones baited with blood lure to attract the bears.

Camera trap image of a sow and her cub.

PhD student Carlos Bedson pouring blood lure.

Camera trap image of a sow and her cub.

© Ecological Genetics & Conservation, 2019