SPRINGFIELD — Yes, there are bears in Missouri. And state officials want to learn more about them.
A new study is focused on the movement, population densities, habitat preferences and overall numbers of Missouri bears. It is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with help from Safari Club International.
The first phase will trap and place radio collars on 13 black bears in southwest and south-central Missouri this fall. The bears will be monitored through the winter to learn more about their habits.
In the spring, scientists will use hair snares to get better estimates of the overall bear population. Next fall, 13 more bears will be trapped and collared in southeast Missouri, with additional snares the following spring in that area.