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Bear Necessities

Idaho Department of Fish and Game relaunches website to include bear identification program with training and exams.

by / December 21, 2011
Which is which? The Idaho Department of Fish and Game launches program on its official website to teach the differences between grizzly and black bears. Photo courtesy of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

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.

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Sarah Rich

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. She wrote for for Government Technology magazine from 2010 through 2013.

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