The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has started the process to study our local bear population. Ministry staff have started to conduct barbed wire hair trap surveys in several areas across Ontario, including northwestern Ontario.
Staff have started to set up survey stations with sardines to encourage local black bears to eat them. Near the station, bears will have to rub up against some barbed wire as they go for the fish. As they rub against the harmless wire, it leaves behind a small sample that can be sent for DNA analysis. Hair trap surveys do not disturb or cause injury to the bear.
The MNRF says that this data will help them determine the number of bears in areas surrounding the survey line, and which of the bears are returning bears and which are new to the station. The MNRF notes that the study is being conducted in areas where there are concerns about the sustainability of the bear population.
Ministry staff will be wearing brightly coloured safety vests, and there will be signs up and the stations will be marked. Residents are asked to not interfere with the survey station.