Bears gone AWOL: Agency needs help finding animals
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking for help in finding three missing black bears.
While many black bears roam the wooded hills of the Southern Tier, the DEC is looking for these three bears because they were fitted with electronic radio collars, which stopped transmitting in the fall of 2007.
Darren Schrader of the DEC said collars on bears help researchers figure out where they live and how far from home they roam.
“We’re trying to figure out what their ranges are,” he said. “It’s another tool we use to manage them.”
The bears are three of about 50 the DEC has tagged since 1994.
Schrader said the bears were moved to the area and collared after they became a nuisance near Addison. Since then, the DEC had been tracking their locations in Livingston and Allegany counties, until the signal stopped.
While the bears’ collars are not transmitting, that does not mean they aren’t alive.
Schrader said there probably is a problem with the units.
“They have an antenna on them, and it was probably chewed off,” he said, adding it is not a frequent issue, but is a common reason for a loss of signal.
Another option, according to a DEC news release, is the bears may have been legally harvested, but Schrader said that is not a likely option, as someone would have reported the large collar and metal ear tags on the bears.
The three bears were adult females, the largest weighing about 200 pounds and possibly has cubs with her.
The last radio contacts from the bears were west of Dansville near Byersville-Nunda road and south of Dansville near Poags Hole Road. In Allegany County, the bears were last detected in Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area, Jersey Hill Road near Birdsall, and Keeney Swamp Management Area, also in Allegany County near Birdsall.
If anyone finds a radio collar or one of the bears, contact the DEC at (877) 457-5680 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. state.ny.us.
The Evening Tribune