Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News checks in with a year-end grizzly bear status report . . .
This was a tough year to be a grizzly bear in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. The region saw 25 known grizzly bear deaths by humans, and the No. 1 cause of death was illegal kills.
All told, nine grizzly bears were killed illegally in 2013. Bear managers killed eight problem bears, two were killed by cars, two were killed by trains, one was killed in self defense, and the cause of death for two is unknown.
One bear was moved to the Cabinet Mountains as part of an augmentation program designed to boost bear numbers there. Because it was removed from the NCDE, it’s listed as a mortality, said Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.