MTPR

Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem

Grizzly bear family. Stock photo.
iStock

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized the mother of three grizzly bear cubs Tuesday in the Seeley-Swan Valley after she became food conditioned. 14 grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been euthanized this year, double the 10-year average.

Sheep.
iStock

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt canceled a planned visit to Montana this week. Bernhardt had planned to meet with Montana ranchers and farmers about grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front as part of his visit.

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.

Airedale Terrier puppy Hilda wanders across Gene Swanson's driveway. Swanson relies on Airedales to help prevent conflicts with grizzly bears at his ranch near Augusta, MT.
Rosie Costain / Montana Public Radio

Grizzly bear populations across the state are growing, as is talk about how to minimize human-bear conflict. A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks report released in April showed wildlife officials in northwest Montana received about 150 calls related to grizzly conflicts last year.

Some people, like residents of the Rocky Mountain Front, have dealt with the bears for a long time. MTPR's Rosie Costain reports on one of these conflict-reducing methods: dogs.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park officials plan to capture and mark 10 female grizzly bears as part of an ongoing effort to monitor the population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

The Daily Inter Lake reports park officials announced Wednesday that the trapping efforts will continue through October at various spots in the Montana park.

Map showing the area between estimated occupied grizzly bear range in the NCDE to the north and the GYE to the south.
Lisa Landenburger, USGS - Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Public domain. Source: Peck et al. 2017.

Don’t expect the federal government to propose removing grizzly bears in Northwest Montana from the endangered species list anytime soon, officials say.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Hilary Cooley says it’s complicated trying to prove in court that the grizzly population is recovered.

Causes of known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bear in the NCDE.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


On Tuesday, grizzly bear managers announced that a representative from Montana’s Department of Transportation will be joining their committee in hopes of reducing a growing number of bear deaths on highways.

A graphic of grizzly locations from collared bears within five miles of the Swan River Community Hall. Red dots are female bears and blue are males. Presented April 26, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Wildlife officials received 150 calls related to grizzly conflicts with people in northwest Montana last year, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) report released last week says. An event in Bigfork Thursday night was geared towards reducing those conflicts and helping the growing populations of both people and grizzlies in bear country get along.

Black bear stock photo.
(PD)

The most grizzly bears since 2011 were captured last year in northwest Montana, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) annual reports released Tuesday.

The reports focus on management actions in 2018 for grizzlies, black bears and mountain lions in FWP’s Region 1 – the northwest corner of the state.

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