Volunteers needed for field work in bear studyBALDWIN – Wildlife biologists with the state Department of Natural Resources are seeking volunteers to help to help with an upcoming study of bear numbers in Wisconsin.
BALDWIN – Wildlife biologists with the state Department of Natural Resources are seeking volunteers to help to help with an upcoming study of bear numbers in Wisconsin.
Those who might be interested are invited to an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at the DNR’s Baldwin Service Center in St. Croix County.
The study – designed to provide a reasonably accurate estimate of the bear population in Wisconsin – involves placing specially treated baits in targeted areas during a three-week period beginning April 23. This is where the volunteers come in.
The baits are loaded with food containing the antibiotic tetracycline. Tetracycline leaves a mark on bone tissue. During the bear hunting season, hunters will be asked to provide a rib sample which will show if the bear ate the tetracycline. DNR scientists use this data to estimate of the size of the bear population.
Here is how volunteers can take part in this important study:
--Attend the informational April 6 informational meeting, talk to biologists and determine how much time you can donate.
--Baits will be placed between April 23 and May 15. You will receive directions from the DNR biologists on how to handle the baits
--If you are working on private lands you will need permission from the landowner.
--The baits will be left in place for two to three weeks. Then you will check the baits and remove them from the woods by May 31.
A similar study in 2006 study showed the bear population was much larger than other studies had suggested. The final results of this upcoming study will be available in 2013.