Things are getting hairy in the Rockies this summer

Grizzly bear fieldwork has been in full swing since the beginning of June. The aim of the work is to collect grizzly bear hair as part of a DNA-based mark-recapture analysis.

We collect grizzly bear hair using two different methods: Rub trees wrapped in barbed wire, which bears naturally rub on for intraspecific chemical signaling. Grizzly_6_1

But, sometimes the bears get quite aggressive with these trees…Grizzly_6_2

The second collection method is a bait site in which rotten fish oil and cow blood is poured onto a bait pile, which is corralled by a single strand of barbed wire.Grizzly_6_3

We have checked approximately 180 rub trees so far this year and have collected hundreds of grizzly bear hair samples. We recently finished setting all the bait sites and will begin checking these sites tomorrow. Fingers crossed that our efforts prove fruitful!Grizzly_6_4

Some very spectacular vies have been witnessed over the past month and we look forward to more to come.

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Wildlife sightings have been very abundant this year with many white-tailed deer and Rocky Mountain elk seen every day, as well as occasional sightings of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, Shiras moose, black bear and, of course, we have seen 6-7 grizzly bears so far this year!

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