This project plans to raise $70,000 for 25 collars to support this project for 3 years. We plan to undertake a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign where you can compete against other teams to be the TOP fundraiser. We have two incredible commitments of match: 1) $15,000 from The Wildlife Education Center at Legends Ranch, and 2) an additional $15,000 from the Cabela Family Foundation. These matches are first come first served basis!
Before Arkansas was known as “The Natural State ” it was informally referred to as “The Bear State ” because we had so many black bears. It is believed that there may have been as many as 50,000 bears pre-settlement. But by the 1930s bear populations were reduced so dramatically from habitat loss and overhunting that there were less than 50 black bears in the state. Between 1958 and 1968 approximately 254 bears from Minnesota and Manitoba were released into the Arkansas Highlands which gave way to the most successful reintroduction of a large carnivore in the world.
One aspect of that management is our bear collar monitoring program that concludes with bear den trips to gather data on the reproduction of our bear population. Annually our biologists use telemetry from the bear collars to locate bear dens during the hibernation period.
If you happen to be one of the top two fundraising teams on this project you will have an opportunity to win a trip of a lifetime to go alongside AGFC biologists inside a black bear den to collect vital conservation data. Who doesn’t want a chance to hold a six-week-old bear cub and etch your name as part of the legacy of the bear state? Come on, get involved, and raise some good funding for wildlife conservation in the State of Arkansas.