Bear fitted with video collar in Unity College study

After two years of effort, students and faculty members working on the Unity College bear study project have successfully fitted a captured bear with a video collar.

A 180-pound male black bear wakes up after being sedated by the Unity College bear study team. (Photo courtesy of George Matula)

A 180-pound male black bear wakes up after being sedated by the Unity College bear study team. (Photo courtesy of George Matula)

According to a Unity press release, a 180-pound male bear was captured and fitted with the collar on June 12. The bear is already being tracked by GPS, and the collar will be retrieved during the winter, at which point the video will be viewed. In the meantime, he GPS will report the bear’s location every four and one half hours.

George Matula, an associate professor of wildlife biology at Unity College who oversees the study, said that the video should illustrate many of a bear’s daily struggles, including mating season encounters with females and interactions with other territorial male bears.

Matula and his team hope to eventually use a collar that will provide live streaming video.

The ongoing study involves undergraduate students in the trapping and study of live bears in the wild, and Unity College says it is the first of its kind conducted by a United States college.

 

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John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.