With the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service debating whether to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the endangered species list this summer, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is hosting a screening of two films on the species.
The Center for Biological Diversity’s Andrea Santarsiere worked on one of the films, “Trophy,” about how trophy hunting has hurt grizzly populations in British Columbia. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho are considering the option of allowing trophy hunting of grizzlies if the species is delisted.
Santarsiere said trophy hunting isn’t like other types of hunting.
“I have a lot of friends who elk hunt and deer hunt and they’re getting one animal and they’re feeding their family for maybe a year,” said Santarsiere. “Trophy hunting, on the other hand, is essentially killing an animal so you can either sell the trophy, which is either the head of the animal or the whole animal, for commercial gain or you’re mounting that animal on your wall.”
Santarsiere said the species isn’t doing well enough for hunting since bear numbers have declined two years in a row down from 747 in 2014 to 690 this year.
“So that’s a loss over two years of eight percent of the population, which is a large loss for any species but especially problematic for grizzly bears because they have a slow reproductive rate and it takes a long time to replace grizzly bears in the population and for losses to recover.”
Longtime grizzly advocate Louisa Willcox made the second film, “Keep Grizzlies Protected” in which she interviews scientists about why the species should remain protected.
The screening takes place Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson.