The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to report any black bear den locations they find across Wisconsin to support a new research study.

This project aims to estimate key reproductive parameters in each bear management zone and support decision making for bear management.

Conducted by the department’s Office of Applied Science, the study will analyze reported dens and generate estimates of reproductive rates of black bears within each bear management zone. These estimates will improve the accuracy of the population models for those zones.

Public reporting of bear dens will increase the study’s success and the accuracy of the black bear population model, as black bear dens are difficult to locate. The public is encouraged to report as much information about the den’s location and recent use as possible without approaching or disturbing the dens. Den locations from prior years can be useful since black bears will occasionally re-use dens.

The DNR’s Office of Applied Sciences will begin research at the end of February and continue until collaring goals are met. Research staff will collar female black bears and collect data at each den, such as the sex, weight and body measurements of the sow and cubs.

The DNR’s researchers appreciate the help of local and federal biologists, tribal partners and the general public in locating black bear dens.

Report black bear dens for a research project on bear litter size at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7DSMFZS.

More information about wildlife research projects is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/research/wildliferesearch.html.

Learn more about black bear ecology, history and management in Wisconsin and review the 2019-2029 Wisconsin Black Bear Management Plan on the DNR website at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/bear.

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