Trains In Canada Add Cameras To View Bears

Banff Park News, Bear Hunting Magazine
03/04/2013

Trains that run across mountain National parks are the single biggest source of human-caused grizzly bear mortality in these areas, killing more than 10 grizzlies in Banff National Park over the past decade.

Because of this, officials in the area are starting to use technology to try to figure out why so many grizzly bears are not getting out of the way and are killed by trains in Banff and Yoho national parks.

15 video cameras have been mounted on the front on trains to record how bears react and what they are doing when trains come through the area. The overall goal is to explain what bears are doing as a train approaches that leads to either their death or escape, and if their location could influence their behavior.

The last recorded railway mortality in Banff involved two young yearlings, who were killed when they did not get out of the way of a train west of Banff last October.

The research aims to determine if bears are more likely to be killed by a train if there is spilled grain on the tracks or a rich food source available nearby.

Other projects in the area include putting GPS collars on eleven grizzlies last spring so their movements could be closely monitored.



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