Are you interested in helping to fund our field research?
We’ve launched an online campaign at https://experiment.com/bearbutter to crowdfund $5040 to hire one full-time field technician this summer, our last season of data collection. Our operating budget for the summer will be using carryover funds from 2020 and is insufficient to support a paid field technician. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated, whether it’s $1, $10, $100 or more…every little bit helps. Of the $5040, $4500 will go to supporting a fair wage for a technician’s arduous efforts over 7 weeks. The remaining portion will go to experiement.com fees. If enough people donate and we exceed our target, every $600 raised beyond $5040 will allow us to employ the technician for 1 more week, not to exceed a total of ten weeks. Experiment.com is a meet-your-goal-or-nothing platform, meaning donor accounts are charged and funds dispersed only if we reach $5040 or more.
With a successful campaign, he/she will work with a full-time volunteer and the graduate student this summer to repeat survey for army cutworm moth abundance on multiple occasions, at locations on two close-proximity mountains where we detected moths during single-visit ground surveys in 2020. Army cutworm moths may fly within and across different talus slopes during the days and weeks of summer when grizzly bears dig up and eat them by the thousands each day. Thus, certain talus slopes may be more moth-predictable (stable) for grizzly bears, which may explain why more grizzlies feed on moths at certain mountains over others.
By repeat sampling survey sites, we hope to better understand army cutworm moth abundance at talus slope survey sites across the summer months and how this impacts the number of foraging grizzlies on mountains. This information will have utility for land managers to conserve and balance the needs of foraging grizzly bears in future years with ever-increasing human demand for off trail recreation in these sensitive alpine habitats. Thanks for considering to help fund this novel field research!