From today’s Missoulian . . .
Grizzly numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park dropped slightly this year, indicating the region’s bear population could be leveling off after decades of steady growth, researchers reported Thursday.
An estimated 593 bears are roaming the region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, said Mark Haroldson, a bear researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s down from 602 last year and compares with a 4 percent average annual growth rate since the mid-1980s.
“Statistically, the evidence is it’s flattened out,” Haroldson said.