Kalispell, MT — Here is an update of recent grizzly bear mortalities identified in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.
Grizzly Bear Dies in Vehicle Collision Near Marias Pass
An adult female grizzly bear was killed after being hit by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 2 between Marias Pass and East Glacier. The vehicle accident occurred on the evening of August 23, 2018. The bear was wearing a GPS radio collar that was originally attached through a trend monitoring research project. The female was 17 years old and was accompanied by a yearling bear. Yearlings have a higher survival rate than cubs when separated from their mothers, and no attempts were made to capture the yearling.
Drivers are reminded to always maintain awareness for wildlife crossing roads. Wildlife, including bears, are more active early in the morning and in the evenings.
The grizzly bear was from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which is situated in northwestern Montana, and includes Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and a significant amount of state and private lands.
The NCDE is currently home to more than 1,000 grizzly bears. Montana is bear country. Bears are particularly active in springtime and fall. Residents are asked to please secure food attractants around their properties to avoid conflicts. Recreationists are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts.
Grizzly Bear Discovered Dead in Crow Creek Near Ronan
An adult male grizzly bear was found dead in Crow Creek near Ronan on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The cause of death is unknown. There were no initial indications that the bear was illegally killed.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks maintains a population monitoring program and follows protocols and management objectives that are designed to maintain a healthy grizzly bear population in the NCDE. This includes tracking known mortalities, whether bears are killed or removed from the population for a variety of circumstances, and notifying the public.
Right now bears are actively seeking food sources before the winter denning season, and residents are urged to reduce or secure attractants. FWP Region 1 has recently seen an uptick in reports of bears approaching food sources, such as fruit trees and garbage.
More safety information is available on the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov.
Call FWP regional offices to learn more about bears or to report bear activity. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501