The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is doing a study over the next two months to determine Ontario’s black bear population.

The survey sees barbed-wire hair traps set up across several parts of Ontario with sardines being used to encourage black bears to rub up against the barbs.

When they do this, the bear will leave a small hair sample behind that will be used for DNA analysis.

MNRF Regional Outreach Specialist Jamie Prentice says the stations will be spread out and well-marked.

The survey stations will be set up in a number of MNRF districts including Parry Sound and in Algonquin Park.

Prentice says a similar study was done in Ontario before 2011 to determine the population at the time.

The MNRF says the black bear population in 2011 had remained stable over the previous 20 years.

He says the bears aren’t hurt at all during the process, which is something the MNRF makes sure of before doing a study like this.

The survey is scheduled to wrap up in July.

Below is a map of the study areas:

With files from Matt Latour.