Asheville site of major bear study
(Asheville Citizen-Times) State researchers hope the four-year study, the first of its kind in the Southeast, will shed new light on how bears survive and even thrive in populated areas — where they frequent, what they eat and about reproduction and mortality patterns. Knowledge gained will help researchers map out strategies for how bears and humans can better coexist. The study, a collaboration between N.C. State University and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, kicked off earlier this month, with a focus on attaching collars equipped with GPS devices on bears. Biologists have set out a dozen baited culvert traps — large metal containers with a doors that slam shut when a bear goes inside — in and around Asheville, all on private land with landowners’ cooperation. Captured bears are tranquilized to allow researchers to attach the collars, then released unharmed a short time later. Biologists plan to keep collars on about 40 bears.
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