Study: Black bears repopulating part of Maine

This Nov. 30, 2015 photo provided by Norm and Kristina Senna shows a black bear on a trail in Georgia, Vt. The lack of snow is contributing to delayed hibernation for some black bears and making snowshoe hares conspicuous to predators. Access to food is keeping some out of their winter dens and has prompted officials in Vermont and Massachusetts to urge residents to wait for snow before putting up bird feeders to avoid attracting bears. (Norm and Kristina Senna via AP)

UNITY, Maine (AP) — A three-year study conducted by Unity College students in conjunction with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife found that black bears are repopulating the area around the school.

The Morning Sentinel reports students have trapped, weighed and tagged black bears for three years in the area surrounding the college in Waldo County.

Wildlife biologist Randy Cross says the study helped collect important information on the recolonization of bears that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife research team wouldn’t have been able to accomplish with their budget and time.

Unity College cut the program’s funding this year but is continuing to seek external revenue sources.

The Unity area was once home to many black bears but the population left following the region’s agricultural developments of the mid-1800s.

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