PALMER - An experimental program to increase the survival of moose calves on the west side of Cook Inlet by capturing bears with foot snares has concluded with the removal of 81 black bears.
Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologists say they are cautiously optimistic that surveys of the area to be completed in late November will show moose calf survival increased.
Biologists say predation by bears and wolves was previously identified as the primary factor in a rapid decline over the past decade in moose numbers in Game Management Unit 16B.
Bears are responsible for most moose calf predation in spring and early summer.
While foot-snaring has been used to capture and radio collar bears over the past two decades, officials say it was the first snaring effort designed to reduce bear numbers.