The American black bear lives in many parts of North America, with an estimated 300,000 of them in the US alone. They prefer forests but aren’t too shy about heading into urban areas when need be.
NC’s bear population has expanded in both the mountains and eastern regions for the last 50 years, according to state agencies. Often when they encounter people, they’re searching for food. Researchers use radio tracking devises to chart a sample that has been fitted with radio collars.
Researchers with the study take down vital stats from each bear they deal with, hoping to document key details about both its past and its future.
Bears in the study were lured by bate into traps like this without harm then sedated, affixed with radio collars, recorded, and sent on their way to see where they go.
As the study is virtually unprecedented, hopes are high for what it could reveal about how bears interact with humans and vice versa, and what that could tell us about how to share some of the same spaces.