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 .