Surveys can help bear conservation in Arkansas


The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is offering to expand bear hunting opportunities, and the public can help biologists fill in some critical data on the species.

Anyone who sees black bears while enjoying the outdoors in Arkansas is encouraged to log the sighting on iNaturalist to help biologists obtain baseline information about populations and general locations to track in future scientific research on the bear. species as the hunting seasons progress.

Game and Fish large carnivore program coordinator Myron Means said game cameras and mobile technology have really allowed the public to take an active role in the management of certain wildlife species.

“We get images and reports of bears at feeders all the time, and we know bears are expanding into new areas,” Means said. “This survey will help us gather location information as well as basic biological information such as sex, recruitment and relative age class to complement our other population tracking methods.”

Participating in the survey requires a free account with iNaturalist.org, which takes less than five minutes to set up. Once you’ve created an account, you can join the “Arkansas Bear Survey” project to enter sightings when you encounter bears in The Natural State.

The best information will be photos with timestamps, so biologists can compare submitted animals. However, non-image sighting information can be entered to supplement the data, especially if the sighting is recorded with an exact time and approximate location.

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