Inspire

This App Lets You Track Bears In Yosemite From Your Phone

Yosemite National Park is one of our favourite places to visit, home to some of the most jaw-dropping natural scenery and delightful walking trails you can find in the US. However, it’s also home to a variety of wildlife that needs to be thoughtfully considered while we explore.

This wildlife includes black bears, the most common and widely distributed breed of bear in the US. Recently, park rangers have noticed an increase in bear fatalities due to run-ins with humans. Yosemite reports that there have been over 400 vehicle-bear deaths since ’95. This is distressing news, especially as it’s our duty as travellers to respect the environment we’re exploring.

In order to address this problem, Yosemite has built its very own app named Keep Bears Wild. It’s a free, publicly available tracking device that monitors the movement of black bears in the national park. It doesn’t operate in real time, to protect the safety of the bears, but is useful for both rangers and visitors to be wary that they’re not encroaching on any natural habitat they shouldn’t be.

Tracking is monitored via GPS collars fitted to bears that are known to frequent human trails or camping areas, ensuring the safety of both man and beast.

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Photo: Misha Logvinov/Flickr

You can have a look at the Keep Bears Wild tracker now to have a look at the activity of bears with GPS tracking, as well as known instances of recent collisions. It’s pretty cool, and gives you a great general understanding of the areas to steer away from.

(Lead image: Ron Wolf/Flickr)