A new study suggests that flaws in how the government measures Yellowstone's grizzly bear population raise questions about whether the animals have recovered sufficiently to merit lifting federal protections.
Lead author Daniel Doak of the University of Colorado says a major reason more bears have been counted in recent years is that more time is now spent counting bears. He says the population could be in decline even as officials consider revoking its threatened species status.
But government biologists say there is no evidence of decline and that new population data shows there are more than 700 grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park. That's up from prior estimates of roughly 600 bears.
Doak's work was partially funded by the Natural Resources Defense Council.