Cheyenne – The 2016 annual report on grizzly bear work completed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is now available on the department website. The report captures the wide-spectrum of work conducted by Game and Fish to monitor and manage the bear population and includes examples of some of the science to demonstrate recovery. Also detailed are the vital education and outreach activities associated with grizzly bear conservation.
During 2016, Game and Fish captured 17 grizzly bears for monitoring purposes.
“All captured grizzly bears provide a wealth of information into overall grizzly bear population status and health,” said Dan Thompson, Game and Fish large carnivore section supervisor.
In addition, 39 grizzly bears were caught in 40 capture events in an attempt to prevent or resolve conflicts. Most human-bear interactions and conflicts in Wyoming are the result of bears seeking unnatural food in association with people and property, close encounters with humans, or when bears kill livestock. Twenty-six (65%) of the 40 capture events were in Park County, eight (20%) in Sublette County, four (10%) in Fremont County, and two (5%) in Hot Springs County.
“Relocation of grizzly bears reduces the chance of property damage, reduces the potential for bears to become food conditioned, allows bears to forage on natural foods and remain wary of people, and provides a non-lethal option when and where it is appropriate,” said Brian Nesvik, chief of the Game and Fish Wildlife Division.
Grizzly bears are relocated in accordance with state and federal laws, regulations and policy. More about how the Game and Fish manages grizzly bears in Wyoming is available online. Game and Fish also continues to educate the public about how to proactively live and recreate in bear country to avoid conflicts. That program is referred to as the Bear Wise Wyoming program.