Grizzly Bears No Longer "Threatened and Endangered"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

After nearly disappearing three decades ago, grizzly bears are thriving in the Yellowstone ecosystem and no longer need the protection of the Endangered Species Act, Deputy Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlett announced today.

“The grizzly’s remarkable comeback is the result of years of intensive cooperative recovery efforts between federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and individuals,” Scarlett said. “There is simply no way to overstate what an amazing accomplishment this is. The grizzly is a large predator that requires a great deal of space, and conserving such animals is a challenge in today’s world. I believe all Americans should be proud that, as a nation, we had the will and the ability to protect and restore this symbol of the wild.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is removing the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears from its status as “threatened” on the U.S. list of threatened and endangered species. Four other grizzly populations in the lower 48 states have not yet recovered and will continue to be protected as threatened species under the Act.

Grizzly numbers in the Yellowstone ecosystem have increased from an estimated population of 136 to 312 when they were listed as threatened in 1975, to more than 500 bears today.

Yellowstone grizzlies will now be managed under a comprehensive conservation strategy developed by state and federal scientists and managers that includes intensive monitoring of Yellowstone bears, their food, and their habitat. The conservation strategy incorporates the best available science and allows state and federal agencies to adjust management in response to new scientific information or environmental and bear population changes. State and federal managers will continue to work cooperatively under this framework to manage and maintain healthy grizzly bear populations throughout the Greater Yellowstone area.

“This comprehensive conservation strategy, agreed to by all state and federal players involved in grizzly recovery, will ensure that the future of the bear remains bright,” Scarlett noted.

The Yellowstone grizzly bear was listed as a threatened species because of loss of habitat and high mortality resulting from conflicts with humans. An interagency scientific study team was formed in 1973, and over the years the Yellowstone grizzlies have become the most intensely studied bear population in the world. In the 1980’s a multi-agency team, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), was established. The IGBC managed bear mortality and habitat, worked to build public support, and helped develop adequate regulatory mechanisms for the bears. The IGBC includes the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington; and the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Universities and private organizations have contributed to the study and conservation of the Yellowstone grizzlies as well.

Since the early 1990s, the Yellowstone population has grown at a rate of 4 percent to 7 percent per year. Grizzly range in the Yellowstone Ecosystem has increased 48 percent since they were listed, and biologists have sighted bears more than 60 miles from what was once thought to be the outer limits of their range

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to delist grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem in November 2005. The proposal was reviewed at four open houses and two public hearings; more than 193,500 public comments were received.

Notification of the delisting of the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears will be published in the Federal Register in the near future. More information about today’s announcement can be found at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/mammals/grizzly/yellowstone.htm

Grizzly bears are generally larger and heavier than other bears. They can be distinguished from black bears by longer, curved claws, humped shoulders and a face that appears to be concave. A wide range of coloration from light brown to nearly black is common. The bear’s coat features longer guard hairs over a dense mat of underfur with tips that are usually silver or golden in color - hence the name “grizzly.” In the lower 48 states, the average weight of grizzly bears is generally 400 to 600 pounds for males and 250 to 350 pounds for females. They generally live to be approximately 25 years old, although some wild bears have lived over 35 years.
Grizzlies are opportunistic feeders and will consume almost any available food including living or dead mammals or fish, grasses, roots, bulbs, tubers and fungi. The distribution and abundance of these grizzly bear foods vary naturally among seasons and years.

Biologists believe the Yellowstone area grizzly population and other remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states and Canada are markedly separate from each other, with no evidence of interaction with other populations. There are approximately 1,100 to 1,200 grizzly bears in the lower 48 states, in five separate populations in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington. In addition to the Yellowstone area, grizzlies also occur in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem, where grizzly populations are stable or increasing and number 400 to 500 bears; in the Selkirk ecosystem where there are 40 to 50 bears; in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem, with 30 to 40 bears; and in the Northern Cascade ecosystem where there are approximately 5 bears.


Tennessee's 2014-15 Gun Season For Deer Starts Nov. 22

Tennessee’s gun season for deer an annual opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving which this year falls on Nov. 22, for 2014-15. For the fourth year, sportsmen will find one continuous season that will continue through Jan. 4, 2015. The continuous season replaced the previously two segmented hunting seasons that were in place prior to 2011. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period On Proposal To List Northern Long-eared Bat As Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Comments will be accepted through  Dec. 18 .   The Service is reopening the comment period to alert the public to additional information provided by state conservation agencies within the range ... (click for more)

County Schools Have Plan To Put Security Cameras At Every School

The Hamilton County Schools have a plan to put security cameras in every school, Supt. Rick Smith told the County School Board Thursday night. He said the money would come from the $2,201,000 the schools received last year from the sale of the old Ooltewah Elementary School property. The proposal must get approval from the School Board at the December meeting, then from the ... (click for more)

Bryant Found Guilty Of Aggravated Rape, Robbery In Finley Stadium Jogger Case

A Criminal Court jury on Thursday afternoon, found Devontavious Bryant guilty of aggravated rape and robbery in the October 20, 2012 rape of a woman jogging past Finley Stadium.   Sentencing by Judge Don Poole is Jan. 5. Bryant decided to testify, saying, "I didn't rape that woman." He told prosecutor Cameron Williams, "I can't force the jury to believe nothing ... (click for more)

Always Read The Fine Print - And Response (2)

So, Chief Dodd retired before 25 years of service and is angry that he's being charged a five percent fee for surviving spouse benefits, even though that change was enacted prior to his retiring? Well, welcome to the real world, Mr. Dodd. Always read the fine print. City employees were also once able to carry their health insurance with them if they retired earlier than 25 years, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Pre-Thanksgiving Nudge

This time next week it will be Thanksgiving and, as I was browsing on the Internet yesterday, I was absently searching for something to catch the holiday mood when I found it. In 1978 Ronald Reagan was running hard to become the President of the United States, which he became in 1981-89, and, as fate would have it, suddenly it came that time during the week when he would record ... (click for more)