Grizzly bear numbers in the Greater Yellowstone area have improved since the animals were first protected in 1975, but the bears continue to be threatened by isolation from other grizzly populations, loss of key food sources and human-caused mortalities. Overall they occupy less than 2 percent of their historic U.S. range -- and yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove protections from Yellowstone's bears.
The plan presents a potentially tremendous setback. The decline of whitebark pine and cutthroat trout in Yellowstone has prompted bears to eat more meat, such as big-game gut piles and livestock, resulting in increased conflicts with humans. And drought and climate change are likely to exacerbate these problems.
Yellowstone's bears have also long been isolated from other bear populations, forcing the government to keep them on permanent life support by trucking in bears to avoid inbreeding. This fact further highlights the need for recovering grizzlies in more places.
Tell the Service to maintain protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears. If removed, we know what to expect: Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have already agreed to allow trophy hunts.
April 29, 2016 Action Alert ID# 368
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