Too Many Grizzlies...

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A 2009 ruling kept the grizzly bear on the endangered species list. To get the bear off the list would require an expensive study that includes numbers and DNA hair samples from the tri-state Yellowstone Park, and would cost roughly $12.9 million, from Billings Gazette.

A Wyoming game official said the numbers from a previous study are off by as much as 40%.  600 bears were reported in Yellowstone, when more accurately there are close to 1000 in the park. The more expensive study is more extensive and possibly the only way to remove the bears off the endangered species list. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Deputy Director John Emmerich Emmerich's assertion that delisting was an unlikely outcome even if a larger bear population was proven.

Wyoming officials are not happy with the high number of grizzly bears and would like to be able to kill more. In 2009, Judge Donald Malloy, federal judge was concerned about grizzlies long term. He stated that  even if the bears made a comeback now, the climate change would affect their food supply, specifically the whitebark pine nut. These concerns have kept the bears on the list in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Wyoming officials are allowed to kill 10% of the population of grizzlies. Having a more accurate count would enable them to get the right number of kills. 10% of 600 is 60, and if there are really 1000 bears the number of bears being killed or transplanted needs to be closer to 100.

Is 1000 grizzlies really too much for the 3,400 square mile Yellowstone Park? There are other states with higher populations of bears, and larger human population as well and they are not having this argument. In fact the bear/human interaction in Yellowstone has gone down. Some believe that the bears are killing more of the wild game at the park which would lead to less hunters and recreational viewers coming, but both the Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone have been having record numbers of visitors, from Yellowstone Insider.


hunter25's picture

Bear problems like this have

Bear problems like this have not gotten the press like wolves have but if the population continues to grow and cause bigger problems maybe they can figure out a way to start thinning them out. Most people don't realize how much of an impact bears can have on other game populations believing that they mostly eat only berries and things that are already dead. Hopefully it does not take increased attacks against humans for people to finally get the message that wildlife cannot manage itself and maintain a normal balance.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Similar to the effect that

Similar to the effect that the wolves are having, you have to worry about what kind of impact the high number of grizzlies is having on the big game population.

It's nothing for an adult grizzly to eat calves of any number of species. Moose, Elk, and deer are all subject to their diet.  I have not heard much about them getting bison calves, but I can't imagine it'd be any different.

This doesn't even figure in their impact on the human population.  When the number of bears increases, the number of bear-human conflicts will also rise.

Hopefully they will have a meeting of the minds and approve something based on science, and not conjecture.

cowgal's picture

What I want to know is, why

What I want to know is, why we have judges making wildlife decisions? I see Judge Malloy's name come up frequently. He's the one that kept protecting the wolves long after it was shown that the wolves numbers were way over target & needed to be reduced. And now the grizzlies. There comes a time when you need to use common sense and protect people FIRST! I don't know this judge, but from everything I've read - I'm not too crazy about him. He needs to quit playing God. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That does seem like an awful

That does seem like an awful lot of grizzlies for that area.  I am all for letting the naimals have there place in the wild, but with a plaqce like Yellowstone and when you get alot of tourist that come into the park that do not know much about a grizzly anf then they get hurt then its the bears fault.  With that said I think they should keep the population down a bit as so all the tree huggers will not complain about a bear hurting someone in the bears neck of the woods.