Are you going hiking or backpacking in the backcountry during your visit to Denali?
Would you like to know how many bears are in the backcountry unit that you’re going hiking in? We would too, and you can help us figure that out by signing up to be one of Denali’s citizen bear scientists!
What will DNA From Scat Tell Us?
How You Can Help
What do you get out of it?
Frequently Asked Questions
We provide protective gloves, and specially designed sampling sticks in the sample collection kits, so you don’t actually touch the scat. Bear scat generally doesn’t smell because it’s mostly comprised of berries at this time of year. A photo gallery lower on this page illustrates what bear scat looks like.
The sample kits are fairly small. It will take up about the same amount of space as an extra pair of socks, and they’re about the same weight. Look below for an idea of the kit's size.
You can pick up kits at the Backcountry Information Desk in the Denali Visitor Center. If you call (907-683-9574) ahead of time, we can also try to meet you at your camper bus with a kit, in case you forget to pick one up at the visitor center but still want to participate.
You can return your kit to the same place you got it, at the Backcountry Information Desk. If you arrive after 6 pm, use the kit return box (located on top of the after-hours bear resistant food container (BRFC) return), outside the main doors of the Denali Visitor Center
DNA Collection Kit
The kit packs up quite small and weighs very little NPS Photo
An exploded view of items in the DNA kit NPS Photo
Last updated: July 18, 2019