grizzly bears

The overall population of grizzly bears is now at around 1,000. That’s according to a biannual study from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team that has adopted a new method for estimating grizzly populations. Wildlife biologist Frank Van Manen says the higher numbers came as a surprise even to him.

“So far, relatively low conflicts, relatively low mortality, good reproduction.  We already had kind of a peak year last year. So we did not anticipate a lot of females with cubs this year. But we were pleasantly surprised.”

Hunting season has increased the likelihood of interaction between humans and bears, especially in the mountain ranges outside of Yellowstone National Park. Two grizzly bear attacks this month left one man dead and another injured.

Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Conflict Coordinator Brian DeBolt says bears have been moving south and east into the Wyoming Range and Big Horn Basin as their numbers have grown. Hunters are at greater risk during the season as they often go against bear safety precautions.

A study on the Yellowstone area’s grizzly bear population shows that the number of bears is steadily increasing and so far the animals have an adequate food supply.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is responsible for coordinating grizzly bear recovery efforts across agencies in the continental U.S. and Canada. The organization’s Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee submitted the report.

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The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service wants Grizzly Bears taken off the Endangered Species list, but the agency's effort has been blunted by the courts. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on the battle over Wyoming's Grizzlies. 

MATT LASLO: In 1975 government officials worried the west could one day be grizzly-less. Using the Endangered Species Act the government became a great protector of the Bears that play a vital role in the region's ecosystem. But by 2007 the federal government recorded a massive rebound in the population, so they delisted Grizzly Bears. 

A new study shows that the decline in native cutthroat trout has had dramatic impacts on the migratory elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Area. 
 

Lead Researcher Arthur Middleton and others were studying the decline of elk herds in the region, and they determined that grizzly bears were playing a greater role in those deaths than they realized. 
 

The illegal introduction of lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has harmed the cutthroat trout population. 
 

A lawsuit over a fatal bear mauling near
Yellowstone National Park is set to go to trial at the end of the
year.
     The Powell Tribune  reported Friday that
federal Judge Nancy Freudenthal has scheduled the
trial to start Dec. 3 in Cheyenne.
     Erwin Evert of Park Ridge, Ill., was killed by a grizzly bear
that had been tranquilized by researchers in Shoshone National
Forest.
     Evert's widow, Yolanda Evert, is suing the federal government
for $5 million. She claims that researchers let the bear go too

A bear expert says a study has found that people using bear spray during grizzly bear encounters are injured
far less often than people using firearms.
     University of Calgary's Steve Herrero says that 98 percent of those who used bear spray
walked away unharmed, and no people or bears died.
     He says 56 percent of those who used firearms were injured, and
61 percent of the bears died.
     The firearms study involved 269 incidents with 444 hunters. The
bear spray study had 72 incidents with 175 people, though some of