Monitoring black bear populations
April 2019 - May 2022
- Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Black bears occur in a variety of habitats throughout Idaho, are a popular game species, and potentially a major predator of ungulate neonates. Currently, black bear populations are monitored using harvest data, but we do not have a good understanding of how harvest effort affects population estimates nor is current monitoring replicable. To improve inference regarding population health/growth, we propose a study to establish a link between recruitment and habitat productivity for black bears in Idaho. We will use marked bears (satellite collars) and cameras to estimate recruitment and possibly density from mark-resight or time/space to event models. Additionally, we will explore habitat use of marked bears to provide further inference for our abundance estimates. This project is a collaboration between USGS and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Results will provide managers with a cost effective, replicable way to estimate bear population size and inform management decisions.