The Yellowstone grizzly bear was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007. Their population continues to grow, increasing by 4 to 7 percent a year. Their range is still expanding both north and south of Yellowstone National Park.
But conflicts remain. In 2008, grizzly deaths in the Yellowstone ecosystem were reported to be high. Seventy-nine bears were killed. Another year of such high mortality could trigger a review of the grizzly’s listing status.
Two of the grizzly’s key food sources, cutthroat trout and white bark pine seeds, are increasingly uncertain. Trout runs have been eliminated on many streams, and white bark pine trees are suffering from blister rust and beetle damage across much of their range. But this year, the remaining trees are producing a strong seed crop and the bears are harvesting good calories from seeds and moths in preparation for winter.
The agencies and concerned conservation groups are monitoring the bears closely. For more information, please click on the links below:
- The Missoulian: “Opinion: Yellowstone grizzly recovery is conservation success story” – August 20, 2009
- The Missoulian: “Opinion: Yellowstone grizzlies need protection” – August 7, 2009
- Jackson Hole Daily: “Expert: Help relist grizzlies” – May 22, 2009
- Reuters: “Forests fall to pine beetle outbreak” – August 4, 2009