Get Ready, Yellowstone National Park is Gearing Up for Their Grizzly Bear Capture

by Jon D. B.

Visiting Yellowstone National Park soon? There’s a slew of new signs you’ll want to pay utmost attention to as the grizzly bear capture begins again.

Those signs are warning signs, which Yellowstone (YELL) emphasizes are in place to alert visitors that wildlife biologists are using marked areas to capture grizzly bears. Indeed, it’s time for further research on the species, so the great capture begins once more.

Yellowstone National Park’s latest grizzly capture comes “as part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” officials state in their media release to Outsider. In kind, the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service (NPS) wish to inform the public ahead of time that pre-baiting and scientific capture operations are about to begin within Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park’s Grizzly Bear Capture: What to Know

  • When: Aug. 9 – Oct. 28, 2022
  • Where: Throughout the Park, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
    • All areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs
    • It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.
  • What: Research to monitor grizzly bear distribution and activities
    • Crucial to their ongoing recovery in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

According to YELL’s announcement, biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) will begin field captures on August 9. The capture efforts will continue through October 28, 2022.

Capture operations can include a variety of activities. But all areas where work is ongoing will have primary access points clearly marked with bright warning signs. Again,” It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs,” the park cites.

What is the Grizzly Bear Capture?

Throughout European colonization of America, grizzly bears were hunted to the brink of extinction. They remain on the Endangered Species list today, and Yellowstone National Park’s monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities is vital to the ongoing recovery of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

To monitor the bears, biologists first need to capture, tag, and outfit bears before releasing them back into the wild. “In order to attract bears,” the park offers, “biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential capture sites are baited with these natural foods.”

If indicators point to grizzly bears in the area, biologists will then use culvert traps, or sometimes foot snares, to capture the bears. Keep in mind that once capture is complete, grizzly bear handling happens in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols developed by the IGBST and approved by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.

During this time, however, it is imperative that guests know grizzly bating is active in areas of the park. When this is the case, bright warning signs will mark major access points to the capture site(s).

Whatever you do, do not venture into an area Yellowstone marks for grizzly bear trapping.

For more information regarding grizzly bear capture efforts, call the IGBST hotline at 406-994-6675.

Information about the grizzly bear research and monitoring is available from the IGBST here.

Stay safe out there, Outsiders!