The Carnivore Way: All Who Wander Are Not Lost

December 9, 2014 2:05 PM

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In 2014, a 20-year-old grizzly bear named Ethyl made an epic 2,800 mile walkabout through Montana and Idaho. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists knew of her movements because of the GPS collar she wore, which sent weekly data to a satellite. Federal Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Chris Servheen called her traverse into Idaho via the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Mission Mountains, which involved navigating through main streets, landfills, backyards and crossing Interstate 90, "bizarre." While male grizzlies make big movements, females rarely venture far. Yet this was but one of several similar carnivore peregrinations documented in the last fifteen years via GPS-collar technology.

For example, in early 2003, a two-year-old male lynx stepped into a trap set in British Columbia to capture individuals for a Colorado lynx reintroduction. Wildlife biologists fastened a GPS collar around his neck and transported him to Colorado's high country. Soon after being released, he found a ...

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