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Collecting Scat with Citizen Science to Monitor Grizzly Bear Populations

Collecting the DNA from scat is a non-invasive method of tracking grizzly bear populations.

This project first developed a scat collection and DNA extraction procedure. Collecting the DNA from scat is a non-invasive method of tracking grizzly bear populations.

The Grizzly Bear Program then worked with Communication Services to develop a smartphone app called the Grizzly Bear Scat App to enable citizen scientists to collect scat. After a fall 2014 trial run, we partnered with Jasper National Park to scale up citizen scientist recruitment for 2015.

 

  • April 1 2013

    Project Begins

    Progress update: Phase 1: testing different scat collection and DNA extraction methods

  • Fall 2013

    First Field Season Complete

    Progress update: Simple collection procedure created; samples sent to the lab for DNA extraction

  • Winter 2014

    Methods Verified

    Progress update: Confidence in collection and DNA extraction methods established

  • April 1 2014

    Citizen Science Phase Begins

    Progress update: Phase 2: using citizen scientists to collect scat for grizzly bear monitoring

  • July 2014

    Scat App Development Begins

    Progress update: Smartphone apps for iOS and Android in development

  • September 2014

    Scat App Completed

    Progress update: The Grizzly Scat App is released for iOS and Android

  • Fall 2014

    Pilot Project Begins

    Progress update: The first pilot project, using local hunters as citizen scientists, begins

  • April 1 2015

    Partnered with Jasper National Park

    Progress update: JNP launches Scat Seeker pilot project to recruit more citizen scientists

  • January 2016

    Lab Work Underway

    Progress update: Scat Seeker samples sent to Norway for analysis

  • April 2016

    Analysis Underway

    Progress update: DNA data being studied; publications in production

Anja Sorensen

Research Staff

Terry Larsen

Research Staff

Karen Graham

Research Staff

Gord Stenhouse

Program Lead

Julie Duval

Program Lead

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