The Bear-Hair Snare
Published June 25th, 2014
Ocala, Florida -- Biologists with Florida Fish and Wildlife are currently collecting data to determine the bear population in Central Florida and the entire state.
A bear hair snare is an enclosure of barred wire set up in the woods, where biologists think good bear habitat is.
Bears smell the lure and make their way through the fence to get the food sitting on the other side.
During this process, hair from the animal is left on the wire and biologists use that sample to identify individual bears.
272 of these hair snares are set up in Central Florida.
The last time biologists set up the traps was ten years ago.
It was estimated to be about 3,000 bears in Florida then.
Wildlife biologist brain Scheick says they’re going to collect these hair samples throughout bear occupied ranges in the middle of Florida this year, and the rest of Florida next year, and that is the most basic part of data collection.
The hair samples will be collected over the next four weeks.
The samples will then be shipped to a genetics lab for analysis.
They expect the results for the Central Bear Management Unit to be out this time next year.
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