Yellowstone area Grizzlies at record number


With bears roaming through residential neighborhoods in Jackson, Wyoming this autumn, it’s no surprise that the number of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have reached a record population.

New monitoring methods have revealed that a record high number of grizzly bears are living in the region. Biologists have been closely monitoring the species as their populations have risen in recent years leading them to expand their range.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Supervisor told the Cowboy State Daily in a recent interview that the new data shows that perhaps experts have been under-counting bears all along.

Putting the numbers in context, last year’s estimated population was around 727 animals, while this year’s estimate is closer to 1,069. This would mark the highest number of grizzly bears reported in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since counting began in the 1970’s. The increase has more to do with better monitoring rather that a sudden jump in the grizzly bear population.

Grizzly bears roamed through Jackson Hole in the fall of 2021

As more Yellowstone area grizzlies leave the park and venture into populated areas, encounters between humans and bearshave grown increasingly common, and violent conflicts with “problem bears” seem to be on the rise this year. The most recent foray into populated areas has been the high-profile travels of grizzly 399 and her four cubs. They were frequently spotted in Jackson, Wyoming this summer and fall as they searched for food. The five bears even walked through Jackson’s downtown area on November 9th, 2021, prompting local police to haze the bears out of town.

Fortunately, the five bears have returned to Grand Teton National Park now and US Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Joseph Szuszwalak told Jackson Hole Radio that over the last few weeks, the bears have remained there.

Photo: Grizzly_Stiles_USFWS

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