Missoula, MT -

Researchers have accounted for at least 42 grizzly bears in the Cabinet and Yaak regions of northwestern Montana.

The Missoulian reports research leader Kate Kendall reported her findings to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Tuesday in Missoula.

Researches used barrels of fish guts and blood to attract bears into "hair corrals" where rings of barbed wire snagged hair as the animals stepped over or under it.

The count includes 38 grizzlies identified by their DNA and four collared bears whose DNA didn't appear in the samples. Including visiting bears and bears that died during the study, the figure could be as high as 54.

The number is important because the health of the grizzly population influences how much logging and mining can take place in the area.