Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks moved a grizzly bear last week that was getting into bird feeders in a neighborhood. That’s nothing new. What is new is where the bear was caught — near McGregor Lake not far from Marion.
While the area is certainly good bear habitat, it’s in the middle of two recovery zones — the Cabinet-Yaak and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, FWP said in a release.
Right now, they’re not sure where the bear came from, the east or the west, but it is an indication that bears may be moving back and forth between the two regions.
Bears in the NCDE have robust populations, more than 1,000, but bears in the Cabinet-Yaak aren’t doing nearly as well. There’s only about 53 grizzlies in the Cabinet-Yaak.
The boar subadult bear, approximately 3 years old and weighing 246 pounds was fitted with a GPS collar and released May 1 to the Big Creek drainage on the west side of Lake Koocanusa on the Rexford Ranger District.
Folks are reminded to take down bird feeders in the spring and secure garbage and attractants like dog food. Chicken coops and other livestock should be protected by an electric fence.
Plans are available at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/bearAwareTools.html
East of the divide, bears are having run-ins with livestock.
A pair of grizzly bear depredations recently on the Rocky Mountain Front have resulted in a female bear being trapped and relocated and a male grizzly trapped and euthanized.
The 220-pound, three-year-old female bear was captured April 26 west of Pendroy after several sheep were killed on a ranch. The bear was fitted with a radio collar and released near Rose Creek on the Sun River Wildlife Management Area west of Augusta.
On April 27, a 502-pound, 4-year-old male was captured on a ranch west of Bynum near the Front foothills after a calf depredation.
Field evidence and physical measurements identified this unmarked male grizzly as responsible for three confirmed calf depredations over a four-week period. As a result, this bear was killed the same day .