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Fish and wildlife create a bear DNA database

A black bear pops out of the garbage dumplings of Steamboat Springs.
Photo by John F. Russell

As the black bears in the Lake Tahoe basin emerge from the slowdown and sleep of winter, campsite managers, biologists, park rangers and wildlife officers are confronting humans and bears that are certain to occur this spring. We want to give you the freedom to use new tools to help you manage your summer: Tahoe bear population catalogs are growing.

Since the fall of 2019, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California State Park have collaborated to capture, tag, and haze as many Tahoe bears as possible to identify individual bears and build a population genetic database. , We are investigating its overall health. And whether the related bears are passing on problem behaviors from generation to generation. To date, 18 bears have been captured, four of which have been captured. Genetic material is collected and each bear will be equipped with an identification ear tag prior to release.

According to CDFW’s El Dorado and Alpine County wildlife biologists, Cherie Blair, tagging bears does two things. First, everything is so similar that individual bears can be identified. Second, it helps you track your movements.



“So animals in one area moved a few miles to another and started causing problems somewhere else,” Blair said in a video recorded on the CDFW website.

Genetic material is collected and each bear will be equipped with an identification ear tag prior to release. While the bears are stuck, they take samples of blood, hair, and saliva.



DNA collected from “crime scenes” such as broken windows and open ice boxes can tell if CDFW has ever dealt with the bear.

Blair added that basin bears do not behave like normal wild bears because they learned that trash cans could be a normal source of food. Scientists suspect that bears are teaching their children trash-hunting behavior.

Therefore, you can also use the DNA database to see if the associated bears are exhibiting similar litter-seeking behavior.

In May, CDFW expanded its efforts to capture, tag, and haze additional bears within the Tahoe National Forest in collaboration with the US Forest Office. Trapping takes place at campgrounds in the Tahoe area with short windows during the early spring and late autumn off-season. The bear is hazy when released, but it does no harm. This is to provide a negative interaction with humans and to see if that experience will keep bears away from campgrounds and people in the future.

The haze makes a loud noise and non-lethal projectiles such as paintball and bean bags are fired at the bear.

To watch the entire video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl62e_Wlor0..

Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of Sierra Sun

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Fish and wildlife create a bear DNA database

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