Should Grizzlies Be Removed From the Endangered Species List?

Grizzly population rising in Yellowstone according to new study
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Grizzly population rising in Yellowstone according to new study
Yellowstone Grizzly Bear // flickr: YellowStone National Park

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear // flickr: YellowStone National Park

The number of grizzly bears successfully reproducing has quadrupled over the last 25 years, according to a study published in the journal of Molecular Ecology last week. The study included 729 bears and proved that the grizzly bear population is successfully rising.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wildlife Genetics International, the University of Montana, and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team said that the amount of bears successfully passing genes to the next generation increased from 100 in 1980’s to 450 in the 2000s. In 2014 the number was estimated to be between 674-839 Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone area.

Grizzlies have been on the Endangered Species list since 1975. With rising animal numbers and limited resources, some hunting advocates are now calling for the animals' delisting.

In 2015 alone, 47 grizzly bears have been killed or removed from the ecosystem. But while some, including Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, believe that the animals should be delisted, a study by Harmony Kristin Szarek of Ohio State University found that sixty percent of grizzly experts disagree. For its part, Montana is hesitant to delist because the nature-related tourism in the Greater Yellowstone Area is a $1 billion industry. In 2014, a study reported that Yellowstone National Park could potentially lose $10 million in annual revenue without the promise of seeing a roadside Grizzly Bear.