If the state of Montana gets the green light to manage grizzly bear populations in the northwest part of the state, biologists say they’re ready to do so. Grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem number more than a thousand but remain designated as a threatened species. Biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) maintain the population is recovered and ready for them to be removed from the Endangered Species List.
“This core area that we wanted to protect and reduce mortality in, we have succeeded in doing that. And we have ways to estimate the sustainable mortality and at this point we’re way below those numbers and we have a pretty good idea of how to manage that in the future,” Cecily Costello, FWP research wildlife biologist, told KPAX-TV.
Costello also said 95 percent of female grizzlies survive from one year to the next, which is well above management goals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted Yellowstone-area grizzlies earlier this year.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that state agencies should manage all wildlife.
(Photo source: National Park Service)