More than just good data needed to delist Yellowstone grizzlies

Rob Chaney of the Missoulian posted a good summary of the state of the grizzly bear recovery effort.

Recommended reading . . .

Since the grizzly bear was listed as a federally threatened species in 1975, it’s made a remarkable comeback.

Decades of active hunting and poisoning, habitat destruction, isolation and manipulation pushed it to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 United States. California used to have the most, even putting it on its state flag. Californians killed their last grizzly in 1922. It was erased from its native prairie grasslands by the 1880s, just eight decades after the Lewis and Clark journals gave urban Americans their first account of the great bear.

By 1940, after heavy use of strychnine poisoning by farmers and ranchers, wildlife managers estimated the United States had perhaps 300 grizzlies (not counting Alaska). Today, about 1,850 roam the mountains of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington.

“There’s been a real evolution of attitudes that got us to this point,” said Chris Servheen, the grizzly recovery manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Missoula. “We used to be all about killing predators. Now we’re concerned about predators.

Read more . . .