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Bear Density Studies

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will be conducting Barbed-wire Hair Trapping (BWHT) Surveys in order to update bear density estimates with Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) that have active regulated resident and non-resident bear hunts. Hair samples will be collected from traps, and analyzed to determine sex and identity of bears and subsequently how many bears visit the BWHT. This data will be used to estimate the density of bears in the area surrounding the BWHT line and that is then used to estimate the density for the whole WMU.  MNRF staff will be collecting hair samples once a week for a five week period between May 14th and July 6th. Please note that the BWHT do not harm the bears in any way, it simply collects a small sample of their fur.

The BWHT Surveys will be conducted in the following WMUs:
Northwest Region: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9A, 9B and 15A
Northeast Region: 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 38 and 40
Southern Region: 48, 50, 51, 54, 55A, 55B, 64A, 82A and 83A
How Hunters can Help?
The MNRF’s BWHT project results rely on the assumption that bear numbers within a study area do not change during the survey. This is difficult to control, especially when an active hunt is underway. Hunters can help determine which bears from the BWHT project area have been removed to due hunting by submitting 2 premolar teeth from each bear they harvest. These teeth will be used to extract DNA and determine if these individual bears were identified during the BWHT Survey; the teeth are also used to determine age.
For any questions or comments on the program please contact Kayla; Environmental Coordinator@RSMIN.ca or 807-623-4635 EXT 220

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