Tag Archives: grizzly bears

Montana to keep 1000 grizzlies after delisting

Montana NCDE Bear Management Units
Montana NCDE Bear Management Units

Here’s a pretty good summary of Montana’s proposed management plan for grizzly bears in the northwest section of the state . . .

Wildlife officials endorsed a plan Thursday to keep northwestern Montana’s grizzly population at roughly 1,000 bears as the state seeks to bolster its case that lifting federal protections will not lead to the bruins’ demise.

The proposal adopted on a preliminary vote by Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners sets a target of at least 800 grizzlies across a 16,000-square mile (42,000-square kilometer) expanse just south of the U.S.-Canada border.

However, officials pledged to manage for a higher number, about 1,000 bears, to give the population a protective buffer, said Dillon Tabish with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Read more . . .

Record grizzly roadkill

A grizzly bear female and two of its cubs died in a car collision on July 27 about three miles south of Ronan, Montana - CSKT Wildlife Dept
A grizzly bear female and two of its cubs died in a car collision on July 27 about three miles south of Ronan, Montana – CSKT Wildlife Dept

This well-researched article by Rob Chaney of the Missoulian uses bear roadkill along US93 as a starting point to make a broader examination of grizzly mortality . . .

The dictionary defines “mortality” as both death and loss. For grizzly bears along the Northern Continental Divide, both definitions came into play last month when the ecosystem recorded five grizzly mortalities, although only four bears died. And because two of the deaths were adult females of breeding age, the loss could have longer term consequences.

On July 24, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks workers found a dead sow grizzly near the southern end of Hungry Horse Reservoir in the Spotted Bear Ranger District. The 16-year-old female had a radio collar that was sending out a mortality signal, indicating it had stopped moving. The carcass was too decomposed to immediately reveal the cause of death.

Three days later, the driver of a car on Highway 93 ran into a sow grizzly and two of her cubs about three miles south of Ronan. The bear family apparently came out of the barrow pit and tried to cross the highway together about 11 p.m. All three bears died at the scene. The driver and one passenger were injured and the car had to be towed away.

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Conservationist draws Wyoming grizzly bear tag

 

Grizzly Bear Sow and cubs - NPS photo, Tim Rains
Grizzly Bear Sow and cubs – NPS photo, Tim Rains

As mentioned several days ago, a number of conservationists put in for Wyoming grizzly bear hunting tags, with no intention of hunting a griz using anything more lethal than a camera. The effort has paid off in at least one case so far . . .

A famous and fiery critic of grizzly bear hunting who’s made a career photographing the big bruins will have a chance to partake in Wyoming’s first hunt for the species in 44 years.

That person is Images of Nature wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen, who beat very long odds, drawing No. 8 on an issuance list that will allow up to 10 grizzly hunters into the field starting Sept. 15. Mangelsen learned of the results Thursday morning, when he took a call from his friend and assistant Sue Cedarholm.

“When Sue told me that I got No. 8, I about fell off my chair,” he said. “I just thought, ‘How can that be possible?’”

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Bears emerging from dens across Northwest Montana

Grizzly Bear Sow and cubs - NPS photo, Tim Rains
Grizzly Bear Sow and cubs – NPS photo, Tim Rains

Spring has sprung, which means bears are emerging from hibernation and heading to the valley bottoms looking for something to eat. This piece from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is a pretty good write-up . . .

Bears are emerging from dens across northwest Montana and residents are reminded to remove food attractants from their properties to avoid conflicts.

Montana is home to grizzly bears and black bears that roam the mountains and valley floors from spring through late fall before denning in wintertime. Starting in mid-March, bears begin emerging and move to lower-elevation areas seeking food.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks encourages residents to “Be Bear Aware” and remove attractants every spring by April 1.

“With this year’s above-average snowpack, bears are coming out of their dens and digging out from several feet of snow. There’s no place for them to go but down toward the valley floor to feed,” said Tim Manley, FWP Region 1 Grizzly Bear Management Specialist.

Residents are asked to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders and bird seed. Chicken and livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door.

Continue reading Bears emerging from dens across Northwest Montana

Wyoming announces grizzly hunt rules

Grizzly Bear - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Terry Tollefsbol, NPS
Grizzly Bear – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Terry Tollefsbol, NPS

From NFPA President Debo Powers . . .

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced today a proposal to allow two dozen grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region to be killed through a state trophy hunt. The announcement comes despite strong public and tribal opposition to trophy hunting of the iconic bear and litigation challenging the removal of Endangered Species Act protections last summer.

NFPA is opposed to the trophy hunting of grizzlies.

Bonnie Rice from Sierra Club said in a press release: “Grizzly bears are one of the slowest animals to reproduce; it takes a female grizzly ten years to replace herself in the population. It’s a pipe dream to believe that hunters are going to be able to distinguish between male and female grizzly bears. We will undoubtedly lose more female grizzlies in a hunt– even more than authorized under this proposal.”

Here’s a write-up by the Jackson Hole News & Guide . . .

The first Wyoming grizzly bear hunt in over four decades will target 24 animals if commissioners who oversee the state’s wildlife sign off on a proposal released Friday.

A topic of fierce controversy, the hunt is being devised in a way that state officials hope will limit the chance of the bold large carnivore being shot in public view, or killed adjacent to Grand Teton National Park. A no-hunting zone will abut the east boundary of the park, and throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem it will be illegal to kill a grizzly within a half-mile of a named highway, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Chief Warden Brian Nesvik said.

“The intention is to address public concern that was focused on there being hunting and wildlife viewing going on at the same time,” Nesvik said.

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Montana FWP recommends not hunting Yellowstone grizzlies in 2018

Grizzly Bear - courtesy NPS
Grizzly Bear – courtesy NPS

Montana FWP is recommending against a grizzly hunt in 2018. The official press release has the details. The Flathead Beacon posted a less bureaucratic summary of the issues . . .

Montana wildlife officials are recommending against holding a grizzly bear hunt in 2018 after the animals lost their federal protections across a three-state region around Yellowstone National Park.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Martha Williams said Thursday the state wants to demonstrate its commitment to the grizzly’s long-term recovery.

State wildlife commissioners will consider the matter Feb. 15.

Read more . . .

Montana FWP press release: Department proposes not hunting Yellowstone grizzlies in 2018

More press coverage…

Montana FWP wants to hold off on a Yellowstone-area grizzly hunt this year (Montana Untamed)
Montana won’t recommend Yellowstone grizzly hunting this year (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

 

Grizzlies in the corn

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs - NPS photo
Grizzly bear sow with three cubs – NPS photo

The Missoulian has an interesting story about how a farmer in the Mission Valley is dealing with bear conflicts . . .

Standing in a hollowed-out section in the middle of his 80-acre cornfield, Greg Schock bends over and picks up one of dozens of corn cobs scattered about. It’s been picked clean of every kernel.

On the dark black ground just barely moistened by Thursday night’s welcome rain, there are grizzly bear tracks and fresh scat dotted with kernels of corn.

From where he’s standing, the longtime Mission Valley dairyman’s view past the edge of the clearing is obscured by the thick rows of corn that will sometime soon become the silage that his cows will depend on to eat through the winter months.

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Judge rules Cabinet-Yaak grizzlies merit endangered status

Brown Grizzly Bear - Wikipedia User Mousse
Brown Grizzly Bear – Wikipedia User Mousse

A judge has ruled that the isolated grizzly bear population in the Cabinet-Yaak area can be treated as endangered . . .

Animals and plants can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction, a judge ruled in overturning the U.S. government’s re-classification of a small population of grizzly bears living in the forests of Montana and Idaho near the Canada border.

Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen said that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is prohibited from narrowing the definition an endangered species in its future decisions without explaining why it wants to make the policy change.

The federal Endangered Species Act defines an endangered species as one that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”

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British Columbia to ban grizzly bear trophy hunting

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs - NPS photo
Grizzly bear sow with three cubs – NPS photo

BC is banning trophy hunting of grizzlies. Interestingly, it’s not that too many bears are being killed, but because societal norms no longer favor this type of activity . . .

In a win for conservationists and environmental groups, British Columbia says it will no longer allow the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Canadian province starting on Nov. 30.

The new policy blocks all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest but still allows people to hunt them for food elsewhere in British Columbia.

Of the approximately 15,000 grizzlies in British Columbia, about 250 are killed by hunters annually, according to government figures.

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Hilary Cooley is region’s new grizzly bear recovery coordinator

Dr. Hilary Cooley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator - Jackson Hole News & Guide
Dr. Hilary Cooley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator – Jackson Hole News & Guide

They finally brought someone in to take Chris Servheen’s old job. Dr. Hilary Cooley is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new grizzly bear recovery coordinator . . .

The federal official charged with leading the U.S. polar bear program has departed Alaska for Missoula, Montana, to oversee grizzly bear recovery in the Lower 48.

Hilary Cooley, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new grizzly bear recovery coordinator, has stepped into the job vacated by 35-year veteran Chris Servheen. Cooley will have the opportunity to finish what Servheen started: seeing through the Endangered Species Act “delisting” process for Yellowstone-area grizzlies, which turns over jurisdiction from Fish and Wildlife to Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzlies, she said, are ready to be managed by the states.

Read more . . .