Update: Grizzly Bear SECR and Alberta BearSmart

It has been a while and we thought our readers might be interested in knowing the status of the grizzly bear spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) project. The hair samples collected over the past field season have been sent to the Wildlife Genetics International laboratory in British Columbia and have undergone the beginning stages of analysis. With over 4000 samples, they certainly have their work cut out for them!

The lab has started a sub-sampling process of the hair samples, and once completed they will begin to run genetic analyses to determine how many unique, individual bears we were able to collect hair from. This information will provide Alberta Environment and Parks with valuable population density and distribution data to use toward bear management in the northwest, as well as the provincial Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan.

We are expecting results from the genetic analysis sometime around July 2018. This will be the first grizzly bear population estimate for Bear Management Area 1!

In addition to a report on our SECR project, keep an eye out for the launch of our mini-documentary on the important work of the Northwest Grizzly Bear Team, a video series show casing the collaboration between multiple stakeholders across Bear Management Area 1 whom have been crucial to implementing the SECR project. This video series also features information on our Alberta BearSmart work. Check it out here and on YouTube!

We would also like to let readers know that we will soon be in full swing implementing Alberta BearSmart presentations and community activities including bear spray sessions across the Peace Region. Contact Courtney Hughes to book a session – call 780-624-6148 or email courtney.hughes@gov.ab.ca.

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