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Henry Mountain bison collared

PRICE, UTAH — In early February, the Division of Wildlife Resources in partnership with the BLM, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, and Utah State University, captured and radio-collared 59 bison on the Henry Mountains.

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Wildlife biologists hope the radio collars will help them learn more about herd movements, habitat use and population size.

Photo by Bill Bates

Wildlife biologists hope the radio collars will help them learn more about herd movements, habitat use and population size. This information will help the DWR manage bison more effectively and meet the objectives of the established Henry Mountains bison management plan.

Some of the radio collars were VHF to allow tracking from an aircraft, while others were GPS for relocation by satellite. Every time radio-collared bison are located, DWR biologists gain more information about that individual's movements and habitat preferences.

Because bison are social animals, biologists can make inferences about the herd in general. The DWR can then determine where habitat improvements and water development would be most needful and where conflicts with livestock may occur.

The collars will also aid biologists in estimating the population more accurately. Although the population is counted every year from a helicopter, some animals are not seen because of their remote location or the density of woodland canopy under which they rest. Biologists will be better able to estimate the percentage of the entire population that are missed during annual population surveys, and using population modeling techniques, by counting collared and non-collared individuals.

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