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Grizzly Bear Monitoring Flights Conducted

July 25, 2019
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Keeping tabs on grizzlies!

Jackson - Each summer, several Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel take to the air to conduct grizzly bear observation flights. Regular observation flights have been conducted in the Greater Yellowstone Area since the 1980s. Originally, the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone was divided into 18 Bear Management Units that served as the geographic basis for monitoring. As the grizzly bear population has expanded, it was necessary to increase the area and number of units flown to effectively monitor the entire population. Grizzly Bear Observation Areas (BOAs) were established for this purpose. Today, BOAs are the geographic reference areas used for observation flights and other population monitoring efforts as well as for recording mortalities.

Current Grizzly Bear Observation Units

Current Grizzly Bear Distribution in the Greater Yellowstone Area 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has invested enormous fiscal and personnel resources to monitor and manage the GYA population of grizzly bears over a period of decades. Those efforts have included capturing many individual bears and fitting them with radio collars, collecting and analyzing biological samples, monitoring physiological condition, conducting radio telemetry and observation flights, monitoring food sources, and other aspects of grizzly bear ecology. In recent years, annual costs of the Department’s grizzly bear program have approached and exceeded the $2 million mark.

To learn more about grizzly bears and their managment in Wyoming, you can visit the Game and Fish Department's website here:

- WGFD -

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