Every year over 4 million guests visit Yosemite National Park hoping to get close to nature. But sometimes, nature can get a little too close… Incidents when bears enter developed areas and campgrounds looking for food are happening very often. With a new project the park rangers and wildlife biologists are testing location-based technologies to prevent dangerous run-ins as well as to learn and understand more about the movements of black bears in Yosemite park.
Bears are being tracked with sophisticated GPS collars. Currently the park is testing 9 sets. When a bear enters ‘a high risk area’ Park rangers get notifications. Based on that information they can force bears to go away or in extreme situation relocate them. The new technology replaces outdated radio collars which required a lot of experience from operator and manual work with poor quality location measurement. The project cost $70,000 so it’s hard to imagine that all 400 Yosemite bears will be monitored anytime soon, but it’s an interesting use of location tracking technology.