What is Missouri’s largest carnivore? Of course, it’s the black bear, though it isn’t necessarily a strict carnivore and will eat virtually anything--including donuts!
The Missouri Department of Conservation is currently partnered with Mississippi State University, the University of Missouri and others in a project designed to put some numbers on Missouri’s bears--including how many are out there, where they are, how reproductively successful they are and other pertinent facts that will help us better manage the population. A description of the entire project, along with animated maps, photographs and other interesting bear information, is available on the Missouri Black Bear Project website listed below.
We would encourage you to visit the website to learn more about this very interesting project, but will tell you that it is ongoing right now. To that end, many of your Current River District Conservation Team members are very busy with the first step in the process--catching bears! This will allow us to collect baseline data and fit them with radio collars that allow us to "see where they go and when they go there." That brings us back to the doughnuts--bears seem to love them, and that is what they are being baited in to live traps with. Some even try to come back after being released for seconds!