Black bears have a keen sense of smell. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry plans to take advantage of that to update our bear population data for the province.
Starting this month, ministry staff will conduct barbed-wire hair trap surveys in several parts of Ontario.
Staff will set up survey stations with sardines to encourage local black bears to follow their noses right to the stations where they'll have to rub up against some barbed wire as they investigate the smell of the fish.
As they rub against the wire it leaves behind a small hair sample that can be sent to a lab for DNA analysis.
We collect data over several weeks, which tells us which bears are returning bears and which are unique bears.
This information helps us determine the number of bears in an area surrounding the survey line.