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Bear Population Healthy and Well-Behaved

Grizzly-Bear

Members of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee heard estimates yesterday that the grizzly bear population here has increased to approximately 741 bears including 58 females with cubs.  Despite the increase, Spokesman Gregg Losinski says bear-human conflicts were down dramatically from previous years.  He says bears were definitely in areas where humans frequent but he says, “we would like to think through a combination of better education and outreach as well as lots of different food sources available the bears really did not have to get into situations where there would be conflicts with humans.” Losinski says the committee learned that the poor supply this year of White Bark Pine Nuts had little impact on the bear population’s availability of food.  He says the bears have lots of other food sources which they found without getting into problems with humans.  Losinski says the study team will be presenting the findings of the study they have been doing over the last year regarding all the different food sources bears have available.  Says Losinski:  “If that finding is favorable, then the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the future will probably go through the process to have the bear delisted.”  That study is being presented today during the second day of the subcommittee’s two-day meeting in Bozeman, Montana.  The area represented by the committee includes all of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, portions of northwest Wyoming, eastern Idaho and southwest Montana, and lands in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Bridger-Teton, Caribou-Targhee, Custer, Gallatin and Shoshone National Forests.

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