WASHINGTON — More than four decades after being listed as endangered, grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park have recovered to the point that they no longer require protection under the Endangered Species Act, authorities said Thursday.
The current Yellowstone grizzly population is estimated at 700 individuals, up from as few as 136 bears in 1975, according to the Interior Department.
In a statement accompanying the agency’s announcement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the delisting is “a long time coming and very good news for many communities and advocates in the Yellowstone region.”
“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners,” he said. “As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
The final rule will soon be published in the Federal Register, and it will take effect 30 days after publication. The action does not impact grizzlies elsewhere in the country, and those bears will continue to be protected under the act.
Federal authorities said Thursday that multiple factors indicate the Yellowstone grizzly population “is healthy and will be sustained into the future.” The decision to remove protections, they said, was “informed by over four decades of intensive, independent scientific efforts.”
But conservationists worry how the bears will fare after Endangered Species Act protections are stripped and grizzlies outside the park are managed by the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. State jurisdiction opens the door for limited hunting of grizzlies outside Yellowstone.
Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, called the move “tragic.”
“This deeply misguided decision just isn’t supported by the science, so the Trump administration may be leaving itself vulnerable to a strong legal challenge,” Santarsiere said in a statement. “The evidence clearly shows we need to protect Yellowstone grizzlies, not turn them into targets for trophy hunters.”
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife, called the Yellowstone grizzly’s recovery “an undeniable example of how the ESA can bring a species back from the brink,” but said her group remains concerned about future management.
“We cannot allow the decades of work and investment to save these bears go down the drain,” she said.
The seeds of white bark pine, a high-elevation tree that has been severely impacted by disease, insects and climate change, are an important food source for Yellowstone grizzlies.
Sylvia Fallon, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that until a plan is in place to protect Yellowstone grizzlies from long-term threats, the bears’ future remains “grim.”
“Climate change, isolation, and increasingly fragmented habitat continue to threaten the long-term survival of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears,” she said.
Photo Illustration The Daily Beast/Nashville Metropolitan Police/LinkedInThe suspect accused of storming a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday morning, killing three kids and three adults, has been identified as a “quiet” 28-year-old former art student who once attended the church-based school.The Nashville Metro Police Department identified the suspect as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who was shot dead by cops just 14 minutes after The Covenant School first called police to report an activ
The Russian column of armoured vehicles, which was heading to Kherson Oblast via the Kerch Bridge, was "driving over the speed limit"; as a result, Russian invaders lost five cars. Source: press service of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Details: Defence Intelligence reports that on 26 March, a column of five Z-STS Akhmat vehicles of the 34th Motorized Rifle Brigade was travelling along the Kerch Bridge in the direction of the occupied Crimea.
Surveillance video shows the moment the driver of a stolen Mazda SUV collided with a Nissan that was being driven by a 31-year-old mother with her twin boys. The mother died from her injuries and one of her sons was critically wounded.
The long-debated agreement on “Power of Siberia 2” (POS2) – a massive pipeline project to pump gas from Western Siberia to China via Mongolia – has become emblematic of the one-sided and slightly abusive relationship between China and Russia since the start of the Ukraine war. It is not good news for Moscow.
Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has always been a straight shooter. His legendary candor has led to a successful broadcasting career, but it was also the catalyst that ended his friendship with Michael Jordan.
[The following story contains spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4.] Yeah, Lionsgate is thinking John Wick is back. John Wick: Chapter 4 had widely been expected to be the final installment in the main action franchise, but a fifth installment is back on the table after the movie’s astonishing opening at the global box office, […]