The University of Washington and a School of Environmental and Forest Sciences doctoral student have collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a tool that can map huckleberries, which can help track grizzly bears.
Huckleberries are a critical food sources for the threatened grizzly bears, so tracking where the berries live now and may move under climate change is key to helping protect the large animals. This technology was described in a paper recently published in International Journal of Remote Sensing.
Carolyn Shores, the SEFS student who helped develop the tool and write the paper, told UW News, “The inspiration behind the research was to map huckleberry patches to identify and protect areas of prime grizzly bear habitat. Grizzlies depend on huckleberries as a main source of food in late summer, and huckleberry distribution may be shifting with climate change.”