Grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone In this Sept. 25, 2013 file photo, a grizzly bear cub forages for food a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont. (Alan Rogers /The Casper Star-Tribune via AP, File/NPS/Diane Renkin)
Grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone
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Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park are holding relatively steady, according to figures released Thursday. State wildlife officials have begun discussions on whether to hold the first public hunts for the animals in decades.

There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region. That includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. That's according to the leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

That's up slightly from last year's tally of 695 bruins. But it is not considered a significant increase because there are uncertainties around the estimates. That's according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Frank van Manen. He is the study team leader.

"The population has been at a pretty stable level since the early 2000s," van Manen said. "If that number had been lower by 15 or 20 bears, I would have said the same thing."

In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies that had been in place since 1975. They turned over management of the animals to the three states.

Hunting is part of the states' grizzly management strategy. But details have yet to be worked out. State officials have consistently said any hunts would be limited to a small number of bears to avoid endangering the overall population.

"None of the states at this point in time are actively planning for hunts, but they are beginning dialogues with various members of the public about what that would look like" said Gregg Losinksi with Idaho Fish and Game.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon said Montana officials are focused on building public trust on grizzly management. There are no active discussions about future hunts in the state, Lemon said.

Even without hunts bears have been dying at a steady rate. More than 50 were killed in each of the past three years due to conflicts with hunters, highway accidents and management removals of bears that preyed on livestock.

"More than 150 bears dying in the last three years because of run-ins with hunters and cars and cows is just too many," said Beth Kampschror with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a conservation group. "We're asking the states and agencies to do more to keep people safe and bears alive."

Other wildlife advocates and American Indian tribes have sued to restore federal protections.

The tribes say killing grizzlies violates the spiritual beliefs of their members. Wildlife advocates argue that hunting could reverse the species' hard-fought recovery from near extermination in the last century.

The National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, a hunting group, have asked the judge overseeing most of the lawsuits for permission to intervene in the cases. They want to make sure their members have a chance to hunt grizzlies.

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What challenges do the grizzlies face?
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COMMENTS (32)
  • JaidenV-del
    12/07/2017 - 01:41 p.m.

    The grizzly bear are at a steady paste almost to 718 bears The park is thinking about whether to put hunting back into business with grizzly bear. A hunting groups own opinion was permission to intervene the cases. And make sure to have a chance to him grizzlies.

  • ChloeT-del
    12/07/2017 - 02:19 p.m.

    This article is about there being a large population of Grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park. The number has slightly increased from last year, from 695 to 718 bears. There are no discussions about bears being hunted to avoid endangering the population, but the bear population is already starting to die. Management removals and highways have killed over 50 bears after 3 years. We have to be more aware of the other wild life around us and we shouldn't be the cause of their endangerment.

  • EsmeraldaV-del
    12/07/2017 - 04:21 p.m.

    The grizzlies face many challenges. There are people-well hunters who want to hunt them, which in a way, makes them endangered. Grizzlies have many run-ins with hunters, and cars. Other people believe that hunting grizzlies is wrong. Tribes believe that killing grizzlies violates the spiritual beliefs that they go by.

  • PriscillaD-del
    12/07/2017 - 05:18 p.m.

    The article is about how the population for grizzly bears increased. The amount of the grizzly bears are steady and descent. But, in order to keep the population at a steady rate, people need to stop hunting grizzly bears, or at least keep them to low minimum.

  • genesisd-orv
    12/07/2017 - 05:50 p.m.

    The challenges grizzlies face are getting hunted being endangered

  • GiannaC-del
    12/07/2017 - 09:50 p.m.

    Yellowstone National Park has been able to keep their bears under a steady population. ”There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region. That includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.” Many grizzlies have been dying even without hunting involved.

  • JadeR-del
    12/08/2017 - 01:10 p.m.

    A summary of the article is that around Yellowstone National Park the numbers of grizzly bears are holding strong. This is a good thing because there has been somewhat of a plummet in the past, but now the Grizzlies are being seen more. This is great because we don't want another great species to go extinct!

  • AkshayB-del
    12/08/2017 - 01:12 p.m.

    This article is about grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone. There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region. That includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. "The population has been at a pretty stable level since the early 2000s," van Manen said. "If that number had been lower by 15 or 20 bears, I would have said the same thing." Hunting is part of the states' grizzly management strategy. But details have yet to be worked out. State officials have consistently said any hunts would be limited to a small number of bears to avoid endangering the overall population. "More than 150 bears dying in the last three years because of run-ins with hunters and cars and cows is just too many," said Beth Kampschror.

  • AngelinaB-del
    12/08/2017 - 04:13 p.m.

    This article is about Grizzly numbers are steady around the Yellowstone region. There are an estimated 718 bears in the Yellowstone region which includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Now that the numbers are "stable", grizzly researches are debating on whether or not they should allow the public hunt these grizzly bears. In July 2017, the US Wildlife Service removed protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears which had been in place since 1975. They turned over management of these bears to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. These three states now have to decide whether or not to allow public hunting towards grizzlies again. Although these states have not decided yet, grizzlies are already starting to die due to encounters with hunters and cars. 150 grizzly bears have died in the last three years.

  • JustinM-del
    12/09/2017 - 12:18 a.m.

    this article is about Grizzly numbers hold steady around Yellowstone and Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park are holding relatively steady, according to figures released Thursday. State wildlife officials have begun discussions on whether to hold the first public hunts for the animals in decades.

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