Unique Females with Cubs of the Year (FCOY)
Adult females are considered the most important segment of the population and consequently are a major focus of our monitoring effort. Our efforts to document the distribution and abundance of females with cubs within the GYE began in 1973. During the past 6 years (2000-2005) we have counted an average of 42 unique females with cubs of the year in the GYE. Although these counts are not a pure index of bear abundance, when summed over 3 consecutive years (the average reproductive interval for adult females) they approximate a minimum estimate of adult females in the population. These counts and the minimum population estimates derived from them are also used to establish annual quotas for human-caused mortality.