Montana Public Radio

Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

A young male grizzly that made his way into the national Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness near the Montana-Idaho border this year has made the trek back to the Libby area to den for the winter. The journey showed that grizzly bear movement into the unpopulated Bitterroot ecosystem is possible.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Montana wildlife officials announced Tuesday that two grizzlies were recently killed in northwest Montana. A food-conditioned male grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend and a female was killed by a hunter last week.

Grizzly bear mother and cub, stock photo.
(PD)

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) moved three grizzly bears from the Bigfork and Libby areas after the animals attempted to access human food.

Black bear stock photo.
(PD)

Two backpackers reported shooting an adult female grizzly bear in self-defense in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness south of Troy on Friday. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are currently investigating the incident. 

Two grizzly bears were moved to northwest Montana’s Cabinet Mountains in July 2019 as part of an ongoing effort to recover the area’s population.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Two grizzly bears were moved to northwest Montana’s Cabinet Mountains this month as part of an ongoing effort to recover the area’s population. The bears were released near Spar Lake on July 13 and 16, according to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release.

A bear warning sign.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

A grizzly bear was detected in the Bitterroot National Forest about 15 miles west of Stevensville last week, according to a Montana FWP press release. Although there's no resident population of grizzlies in the Bitterroot, bear managers consider the area an important link between griz populations in the Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems.

A subadult male grizzly bear was euthanized after it repeatedly broke into a chicken coop and killed several chickens off Farm to Market Road between Kalispell and Whitefish.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Glacier National Park Monday announced that rangers euthanized a black bear in the Lake McDonald Lodge area after finding it had broken into a concession employee housing cabin. Nobody was present in the cabin at the time. The bear matched the description and photos of a bear who had been reported multiple times in the area since Memorial Day weekend.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)


Gov. Steve Bullock announced today he is forming a Grizzly Bear Advisory Council. The goal is to spur discussion on grizzly management, conservation, and recovery across the state.

Greg Lemon with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says the new Council is a chance to rethink grizzly bear management in the face of changing populations.

Known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bears in the NCDE from 2004 to 2018.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

2018 has been the deadliest year since scientists started keeping track for grizzlies in Northwest Montana.

"We did have a record high number of mortalities," says Cecily Costello, a grizzly bear research biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and she’s talking about the huge swath of land in and around Glacier National Park, known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). About a thousand bears live there.

The Vital Ground Foundation and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative purchased this undeveloped subdivision near Troy, Montana as part of the Wild River Project.
Y2Y/Gem Visions Productions

Grizzlies in Northwest Montana are moving into areas they haven’t been seen in years, and Wednesday conservation organizations announced they’ve purchased a chunk of land near Troy that could help those bears continue to migrate and expand their territory.

The Vital Ground Foundation and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative say they have now purchased the majority of an undeveloped subdivision near the confluence of the Kootenai and Yaak rivers.

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