Throughout their non-hibernating months, Yosemite’s black bears are always on the move, exploring their home range in constant search for food — and tracking them is no easy feat.
Bear Tracker displays data transmitted via satellite from the Bear Team’s state-of-the-art GPS bear collars, making it available to you to remotely explore the lives of these amazing animals. How far do bears move in a day? How big are their home ranges? When and where did the last vehicle-bear collision occur in the park? Here you can explore the data and get answers to these and many more questions about Yosemite’s black bears. Over time we will add more features so you can explore the data in new ways, so stay tuned!
Please Note: Data is delayed to protect the current location of bears.
Bears that frequent developed areas, or that are suspected of getting into human food in the park are fitted with GPS collars so the bear management program can keep a close eye on each specific bear’s location and behavior. These high-tech collars track bear movements by relaying hourly data to Yosemite’s bear management rangers. This enables them to be more informed on the movement, behavior and activity of select bears, which in turn allows the team to quickly respond to a bear’s presence in a developed area. These methods haven reduced bears’ ability to obtain human food by preventing them from entering human development and proactively educating visitors about bears and enforcing food storage requirements.
In addition to helping reduce daily human-bear incidents, real-time data collection and analysis supports long-term bear management and research efforts by improving community relations when bears go from the park to outside communities, assessing bear habitat and seasonal food preferences, studying movement patterns to mitigate vehicle-bear collisions, and preventing bears from becoming conditioned to human food sources.
Over 300 vehicle-bear collisions have occurred along roadways in Yosemite National Park since 1995. The “Red Bear Dead Bear” initiative, which began in 2007, aims to raise visitor awareness of the high frequency of vehicle-bear collisions, to encourage visitors to be aware of bears and wildlife along roadsides, and to remind visitors to slow down and obey posted speed limits. The attention-grabbing signs are placed throughout the park where collisions have occurred. Sadly dozens of black bears are killed or maimed each year by vehicles. Vehicle-bear collisions are now one of the leading causes of black bear mortality in Yosemite.