March 24, 2003
March 26, 2003
One Louisiana black bear and cub(s). Wildlife Biologists from: Louisiana State University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge and Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, the Black Bear Conservation Committee, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The goal of the project is to establish a new group of reproducing Louisiana black bears in east-central Louisiana to facilitate interchange between existing bear subpopulations in the Tensas and Atchafalaya River basins. The Louisiana black bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1992 because its population had declined due to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation. The range expansion of breeding females is a slow process, even when bear habitat is found in large contiguous blocks. Because the remaining, forested habitat between the existing bear subpopulations in Louisiana is fragmented, natural colonization of unoccupied habitats has not occurred. The bear and her cubs to be relocated will join five adult bears and their cubs that have been recently moved to Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge and the state-owned Red Rivers and Three Rivers Wildlife Management Areas. Together, these areas comprise one of the largest contiguous blocks (over 100,000 acres) of publically-owned woodlands in the state.
Trapping Site (tree den): Deltec Forest site. Media meet at the
Media should wear gear suitable for off-road work. For release site, waterproof rubber boots are recommended. There are limited ATVs to get to trapping and release sites. Reservations are suggested. Media may join in any stage of the action. This is an ongoing operation, so changes in times should be expected.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345