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Categorized | Outdoors

DNR seeks denned bears in northern Lower Peninsula

Michigan DNR wildlife biologist Mark Boersen is shown here working with a radio-collared bear. The DNR is asking hunters, trappers and others in the woods this season to keep an eye out for denned bears; that information will help the department with important bear research.

Michigan DNR wildlife biologist Mark Boersen is shown here working with a radio-collared bear. The DNR is asking hunters, trappers and others in the woods this season to keep an eye out for denned bears; that information will help the department with important bear research.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for denned bear locations in the northern Lower Peninsula, and is asking those who come across a denned black bear during their hunting, trapping or other outdoor adventures to let the DNR know. Additional black bears, to be fitted with radio collars, are needed for an ongoing bear research project.

“Information gathered from bears assists in managing the black bear population,” said Mark Boersen, DNR wildlife biologist at the Roscommon Customer Service Center. “Currently, we have four female bears being monitored from both air and ground using radio-tracking equipment.”

After a denned bear is located, DNR biologists will determine if the animal is a good candidate for radio-collaring. Bears that are selected will be sedated by a wildlife biologist and fitted with a radio-tracking collar and ear tags. Hair samples will be taken for DNA analysis, and a small, nonfunctional tooth will be collected to determine the bear’s age. Upon completion of the short procedure, biologists will carefully return the bear to its den, where it will spend the remainder of the winter months.

People who encounter bear dens are asked to record the location, with a GPS unit if possible, and contact Mark Boersen at 989-275-5151 or boersenm@michigan.gov to provide specific location information. The DNR reminds everyone that it is illegal to disturb a bear den or disturb, harm or molest a bear in its den.

Learn more about radio telemetry and other wildlife research projects by visitingmi.gov/wildlife and clicking on “Wild Science.”

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