Lecture scheduled for 11 A.M., Thur., Apr. 1, 1999
Recent advances in genetic technology that allow scientists to study bear populations without handling bears is the topic of Katherine Kendall's lecture scheduled for April 1st at the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Visitor Center. Reporters are invited to attend and cover the event. Kendall will be available to address questions following her lecture.
Through innovative and non-invasive methods, Kendall and other USGS staff are providing baseline data on the grizzly population in Glacier National Park and, equally important, protocols for long-term monitoring of this threatened species. The study, which Kendall leads, involves nine federal, state, and tribal agencies and spans a 2-million-acre area centered on the park.
The technology allows identification of species, sex, and individuals from DNA extracted from bear hair and scats (droppings). Previous grizzly population studies in forested habitats were often accomplished with the use of radio telemetry, which is expensive and disruptive to bears, as well as to park visitors. Until now, no demographic study of the Glacier National Park grizzly bear population has been conducted and no data exist on the population's size, status, or trends.