Nature lovers in Norway asked to pick up bear poop for census
Norway is conducting a census of its bear population and has asked for a unique kind of help from the public.
According to reports, the data collecting arm of the Norwegian Nature Surveillance agency, or NNS, would like those who venture into nature to pick up bear poop or hair if they find it and send it to their local NNS office.
One official has been quoted as encouraging people to "combine outdoor life this autumn with a little bear poo picking."
The plan is to analyze the fecal matter to determine the number of bears in a given area and their gender and age breakdown.
To help prospective helpers look for materials, a brochure has been released showing photos of bear tracks, hair tufts, and poop.
People are also being advised to pick up droppings with a plastic bag to avoid contamination and then freeze the contents until delivery.
Norway used to be home to a healthy bear population in the 1800s until a bounty hunting program significantly reduced their numbers.
The 2014 census counted only 136 brown bears, making them highly endangered.