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DNA Fingerprinting Allows Non-Intrusive Study of Grizzly Bears
Released: 3/29/1999

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Katherine Kendall 1-click interview
Phone: 406-888-7994

Catherine Haecker
Phone: 703-648-4283

**Lecture scheduled for11 A.M., Thur., Apr. 1, 1999**

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS: Reproducible remote camera photos of bears at hair traps and scientist in the field may be found at: http://biology.usgs.gov/pr/newsrelease/1999/3-29b.tif

For more information on the project, please visit our website at: http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/glacier/beardna.htm .

Recent advances in genetic technology that allow scientists to study bear populations without handling bears is the topic of Katherine Kendall’s lecture scheduled for April 1st at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Visitor Center. Reporters are invited to attend and cover the event. Kendall will be available to address questions following her lecture.

Through innovative and non-invasive methods, Kendall and other USGS staff are providing baseline data on the grizzly population in Glacier National Park and, equally important, protocols for long-term monitoring of this threatened species. The study, which Kendall leads, involves nine federal, state, and tribal agencies and spans a 2-million-acre area centered on the park.

The technology allows identification of species, sex, and individuals from DNA extracted from bear hair and scats (droppings). Previous grizzly population studies in forested habitats were often accomplished with the use of radio telemetry, which is expensive and disruptive to bears, as well as to park visitors. Until now, no demographic study of the Glacier National Park grizzly bear population has been conducted and no data exist on the population’s size, status, or trends.

USGS headquarters is located at 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston, Va. >From Washington D.C., take I-66 West to the Dulles Toll Road (267), about 10 miles, to the Reston Parkway exit. Turn left on to Reston Parkway and follow for about 1.5 miles and turn right at the first intersection, on to Sunrise Valley Dr. Follow Sunrise Valley to the sign for USGS, Dept. of the Interior (sign on left), turn left, and follow signs to visitor parking.

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