Yosemite introduces way for visitors to track the bears.
And it may be easier for visitors to find them than ever before with Yosemite’s launch of a bear tracker, the first of its kind. The tracker is part of a new website KeepBearsWild.org that seeks to educate the public about the park’s bruins.
The information in the bear tracker comes from radio collared bears and is slightly delayed. This is to protect sensitive locations like winter dens. But the site also contains historic data on places where bears frequent, which should make it easier for visitors hoping for a glance at a bruin to find one.
Tracking will be disabled in fall and winter as the bears prepare for hibernation.
Yosemite will also use the website to educate visitors on viewing practices for the park’s bears that are safe for both visitor and animal. It will also help raise awareness on ways the public can help protect the population.
“People love to see bears and protecting them is something we can all do,” Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean said in a press release. “There’s a dual benefit here of helping park managers to learn even more about bear habits to protect them and raising awareness among visitors about what they can do to save bears.”
The tracking portion of the website is an expansion on a GPS collar program being done in the park since 2014. The program has helped park officials better manage the 300-500 black bears living in the park’s boundaries.
It certainly sounds like this will be a popular tool for park visitors hoping to see the park’s bears!