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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Coordinator Chris Servheen will take the next three years to study the impacts of the whitebark pine decline on the Bruin population...........The Bears will remain "threatened" and under the jurisdiction of the Feds during this timespan...........Servheen and his Fish & Wildlife colleagues willl seek to craft a new STATE MANAGEMENT proposal that will pass legal challenges from the NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL(NRDC) and other environmental groups based on the data it collects from the 3 year study............Servheen has overseen the successful population growth of the Yellowstone Grizzlies and is considered the most successful "Big Bear Manager" in the world........I tip my hat to his accomplishments but simply question his utter confidence in the Rocky Mtn States willingness and ability to manage the Bears with "scientific gloves" when it is all too obvious that Wolf management under these states supervision has "gone off the tracks"...........Heavy handed and politically biased hunting and trapping regimines that seek to manage for minimum population levels rather than ecosystem functioning numbers of wolves.........GRIZZLIES BEWARE IF AND WHEN THE STATES TAKE OVER YOUR MANAGEMENT!

Yellowstone Bears to keep threatened tag until at least 2014

By Matthew Brown

Associated Press
BILLINGS, Mont. — Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will keep their threatened status for at least the next two to three years, as wildlife officials said Friday they plan to bolster their case that the species has recovered.
Federal and state officials insist there are enough bears in the three-state Yellowstone region to guard against a reversal of the decades-long effort to bring them back from near-extermination.
That was put in doubt last fall, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shot down an attempt by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove protections for the animals. That would have returned grizzlies to state control in portions of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The court ruled that Yellowstone grizzlies face a continued threat from the loss of whitebark pine trees, a key food source historically for some bears. The trees have suffered from insect infestations and disease blamed at least in part on a warming climate.

But government biologists say bears that once depended on the trees are switching to other foods, including truffles.To prove that point, Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly recovery coordinator Chris Servheen said researchers plan to spend the next 20 months re-analyzing prior studies on whitebark pine and the role it plays in the grizzly population.

At the same time, officials will be crafting a new proposal to lift protections that could be issued in two to three years."We have to build a case we can get through the legal system," Servheen said Friday. "We feel that we will erode public support and agency support for grizzly bears the longer this legal interference goes on."

Griz fatten up for winter on whitebark pine seeds

The Yellowstone region had an estimated 593 bears last year — a figure that Servheen and other bioligists say is likely an underestimate. Officials plan to use a new counting technique beginning this year expected to reveal the population is significantly larger.

To get a more accurate number, biologists who conduct annual surveys will no longer discount female adult grizzlies with cubs that are found within 30 kilometers of another female with cubs, officials said.

That was done in the past to make sure the same bears were not counted twice. But it is no longer considered necessary as bear densities have increased and more of the animals' territories overlap.
Last year's population estimate was down slightly from a record 602 bears tallied in 2010.

cutthroat trout are another favorite food for Griz
A representative of the environmental group said wildlife managers should proceed with caution as they consider the bears' future."Whether the slight decline is the beginning of a bigger decline or whether it will stabilize, only time will tell," said Louisa Wilcox with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "They have to deal with the court's issue of white bark pine. They can't just paper over the problem."

As the bear population has grown, so have conflicts with humans. That's led to increasing numbers of bears killed every year by hunters and wildlife managers.Four people were killed by grizzlies over the past two years in Yellowstone National Park and nearby areas of Wyoming and Montana.
Grizzly bears were put on the list of federally-protected threatened and endangered species in 1975.

The government has spent more than $20 million on efforts to restore the species.There were 200 to 250 grizzlies when recovery efforts began in earnest in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The population grew at a rate of between 4 and 7 percent annually for most of the intervening years, leveling off to just 1 to 2 percent annually in recent years."We're undercounting dramatically the number of bears," said Greg Losinski with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. "We need to manage this as a recovered species, as well as we need to be doing all we can to get the management over to the states."

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