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Bear Search in the Centennials

Several weeks ago I joined a NRDC funded project in the Centennials under the leadership of Greg Treinish of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation looking for sign of Grizzly Bears there.  If we found sufficient evidence for the great bear, then more protections would be put in place.

This was the 2nd of 3 ‘adventures’ Greg is conducting; the next and last one is in October. Greg gave us an introduction and short class in Grizzly vs. Black bear hair, where and how to look for tree and fence post rubbings, and use of a GPS.  We bagged any hair we found and took a GPS reading.  Most of the two days were walking along old fence line, looking for hair caught in the barbed wires.

The Centennials border the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, rising more than 9,000 feet above the Centennial valley wetlands.  The wetlands provide habitat for dozens of species of birds including the Trumpeter Swan.  On the second day, I walked across the valley along a road, watching for hair samples along the fenceline.  Harriers accompanied us most of the day.

Here is a nice short video David Gaillard of Defenders of Wildlife put together of our weekend.  Scroll down to the 9/22 entry entitled ‘Short Movie of Centennial Bear Study in September’