Between June and August of 2015, field crews led by Clayton Lamb conducted a grizzly bear population inventory in the threatened Kettle-Granby Grizzly Bear Population Unit. Crews set 124 bait sites across the ~8,000 km2 area, which consists of rotten cow blood enclosed by barbed wire to non-invasively collect grizzly bear hair, which is then used to identify individuals through multi-locus genotyping. The bait sites were checked for hair samples at two week intervals, with most sites being checked four times throughout the summer.
A total of 1360 hair samples were collected, and field staff visually identified 29 percent of the samples as grizzly hair. The hair samples are currently at the genetics lab (Wildlife Genetics International) in Nelson, and we expect to have the genetic results back before March 2016. During fiscal year 2016-17, the genetic data will be used to generate population estimates and address questions regarding population size, composition, connectivity and the distribution of grizzly bears within the study area.
Post by Clayton Lamb.