Wyoming Looks to Remove Grizzly’s from Endangered List
Grizzly bears are massive and beautiful animals that inhabit some of the most dense forest regions in North America all the way to the Alaskan wilderness. They have long brown fur with white tips giving them a unique “grizzled” look. Fox news recently reported that the Governor of Wyoming Matt Mead wants to see these elusive creatures off the endangered species list, which could cause an unnecessary culling during an uncertain time.
An adviser to Mead explained, “At some point in time, we would envision hunting grizzlies. It’s an important tool for population management, just like it is for whitetail deer and elk.”
Back in 2007, the grizzly bear was delisted from the Endangered Species Act but conservation groups including the NRDC successfully sued the federal government and got them back on it in 2009. They insisted that grizzly populations have not yet rebounded and may face another obstacle because of a recent white bark pine tree infection that is going around in Yellowstone National Park. The white bark pine is one of the grizzly’s favorite meals and scientists say they need more time to study the effects that this can have on the bears populations.
However a representative of the World Wildlife Federation agrees with the Governer saying that “The grizzly bear story in the Yellowstone is a great success story. The population goals that we set through the federal recovery plan have been met and exceeded.”
Grizzly bears play a very specific and special role in the ecological cycle of life. One particular relationship it has with the ecosystem is with fleshy-fruit bearing plants and seed bearing trees. After nibbling on wild brightly colored plants and bark from various trees, seeds are then dispersed and excreted in a condition that is easy to germinate. Scientists suspect that germination success has been a direct result of seeds and nutrients being spread out from the feces of grizzly bears. Furthermore, when they forage for food in tree roots and plant bulbs, they indirectly enrich species within alpine ecosystems.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have concentrated their recovery efforts in six designated areas. Some of these areas include the Northern Continental Divide in Montana, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Cabinet Yaak in Idaho, and the North Cascades in Washington.
Hunting Grizzly bears today could put these magnificent creatures back in a bad situation. Trophy hunting can cause an imbalance between male and female bears since males are sought after due to their larger size. In addition, the hunting of older males can cause a gender imbalance where a younger male can come and try to establish a presence and claim the elder bear’s territory. Grizzly bears also have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all terrestrial animals in North America adding to their scarcity in some parts of the world.
It’s important to listen to scientists and head their advice. In the event that the grizzly bears are removed from the endangered list once again, all we can do is hope that their populations remain strong and get better over time.
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