The Missouri Black Bear Project aims to document the state's growing black bear population. They are in their third year."The main objective of our current project is to figure out how many bears we have and what's the population, where are they on the landscape, how many males vs. females we have," wildlife biologist Jeff Beringer with the Missouri Department of Conservation told our sister station KRCG's Mike DeFranco.
Cameras are mounted in several of the bears' habitats, and with them scientists count and note their movements.
Some bears are trapped and sedated, then are weighed, measured, and fitted with a GPS tracker.
"We have relied on the public to call in sightings, and from those sightings, we've had clusters, then we'll go out in the woods, and try to find bear signs, bear trails, scat, that sort of thing," said Beringer.
The Missouri Department of Conservation says it still knows very little about how black bears live.