Grand Teton National Park Grizzly Bear Research Trapping to Take Place this Fall

by Jon D. B.
Grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. (NPS Photo/C. Adams)

Let the conservation captures begin as Grand Teton National Park (GRTE) biologists team up with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) this October.

“As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, park biologists in cooperation with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) will conduct capture operations within Grand Teton National Park,” GRTE announced today.

The conservation-based captures will occur within the national park beginning October 3, with efforts lasting throughout the month until November 1. The Yellowstone National Park grizzly capture is currently underway and will overlap until Oct. 28, 2022.

NPS offers not only important information for grizzly conservation today, but an update that is also of utmost importance to Grant Teton visitors. As per usual, GRTE biologists will bait grizzlies in order to trap them. This means specific areas within the park will see a great increase in bear activity. And boy, will these be hungry, territorial bears as bruins enter hyperphagia (see: hyper feeding) ahead of winter hibernation.

Keep in mind that the National Park Service (NPS) and IGBST trap grizzly bears in accordance with strict protocols. Once trapped, bears are then sedated so that trained staff can collar them and collect samples/data for scientific study. After collection, bears are monitored until fully recovered, then immediately released onsite.

SAFETY: What Grizzly Trapping Efforts Means for Grand Teton National Park Visitors

As bear trapping activity commences in Grand Teton, visitors must be ultra-aware of all park warnings, signs, and regulations.

Each bear trapping area will contain bait that will draw in bears, and are therefore marked with bright warning signs. All postings will inform the public of the activities within these specific areas. And it goes without saying that these areas are not to be tresspassed during this time.

“For bear and human safety, the public must respect these closures and stay out of the posted areas,” GRTE cites in their media release to Outsider.

Per Wyoming Fish & Game, around 700 grizzly bears currently exist within the 20 million protected acres of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This, of course, includes Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park to the south. Once trapped, hunted, and displaced to the brink of extinction, programs like this year’s bear trapping greatly contribute to the rebuilding of this keystone species.

IGBST, a Hardy Joint Effort, Aims to Keep Grizzly Bears Thriving

USA, Rockie Mountains, Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, UNESCO, World Heritage. Grizzly mon with cub (m). (Photo by: Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

As for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, “IGBST was established in 1973 to collaboratively monitor and research grizzly bears in the ecosystem on an interagency basis,” NPS explains. “The gathering of critical data on bears is part of a long-term research effort to help wildlife managers devise and implement programs to support the ongoing recovery of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzly bear population.”

IGBST’s 2022 Grand Teton team includes representatives from the following organizations:

  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Eastern Shoshone
  • Northern Arapaho Tribal Fish and Game Department
  • officials from the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

It is, in fewer words, a massive collaboration and hardy joint effort. For more on the grizzly bear trapping in Grand Teton National Park, be sure to see IGBST’s website here.

For more on NPS’ role in grizzly conservation, see our Yellowstone National Park is Gearing Up for Their Grizzly Bear Capture next.