Tags: yellowstone | grizzly bears | endangered species | protection

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Being Removed From Endangered Species List

Image: Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Being Removed From Endangered Species List

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By    |   Friday, 23 Jun 2017 11:54 AM

Yellowstone grizzly bears are being removed from special protection and management after their population has rebounded from 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-70s and now occupy 22,500 square miles, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said in a news release Thursday.

"As a kid who grew up in Montana, I can tell you that this is a long time coming and very good news for many communities and advocates in the Yellowstone region," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a former U.S. representative from Montana, said in the release.

"This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners. As a Montanan, I'm proud of what we’ve achieved together," he continued.

The Fish & Wildlife Service attempted to delist the bear in 2007 but was ordered by federal court decisions to reconsider because of a decline in white bark pine, a crucial bear food source decimated by insects as the region's temperatures increased, The New York Times reported.

"Protecting the grizzly bear, which was one of the first on the list of endangered species under the 1973 law, has been a challenge," New York Times writer Jim Robbins noted. "Adult males can weigh as much as 700 pounds, and the bears occasionally attack and kill people.

"The bears also have a very low birthrate. Sows have their first cubs at five to eight years of age. Just one in three cubs survives to adulthood, living an average of 30 years."

Matt Bishop, from the Montana-based Western Environmental Law Center, told The New York Times his organization will file a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the delisting after the required 60 days.

The U.S. Fish & Game statement said that not only the quantity of the bears has improved but habitats available and the states' commitments to manage the population have increased. The delisting applies to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Distinct Population Segment, which covers portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana, and eastern Idaho. Grizzly bears in other areas will remain under protection.

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Yellowstone grizzly bears are being removed from special protection and management after their population has rebounded from 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
yellowstone, grizzly bears, endangered species, protection
378
2017-54-23
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 11:54 AM
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