The Idaho Department of Fish and Game relaunched its official website in August with a new program to help people learn about the differences between grizzly and black bears in the state.

According to the website, the program is intended to help “manage black bears responsibly while protecting grizzly bears where the ranges of the two species overlap.”

The program includes a training section with an overview of the differences between the two bears, training videos and a 15-question bear identification exam. Test takers who pass the exam, can print out a certificate.

“Portions of northern and eastern Idaho are home to both black and grizzly bears. It is important for bear hunters to properly identify their target because of the protection offered grizzlies by the Endangered Species Act and because the two types of bears generally react differently to humans,” according to a statement from the Fish and Game Department. “Even for people not hunting bears, learning how to tell the difference between the two species can be critical to surviving a surprise encounter with a bear.”

Although hunters should be knowledgeable of the distinctions between the two types of bears, the bear identification training program is voluntary for anyone who takes it.

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.