Montana Public Radio

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Elk at a feed ground in Wyoming.
USGS (PD)

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park doesn't draw in and concentrate large numbers of grizzly bears, scientists have concluded.

The November to December hunt probably takes place too late in the year for grizzly bears to seek out animal remains that hunters leave behind, according to researchers with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

Frank Van Manen, team leader at the United States Geological Survey's Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, presents at an annual meeting of bear managers in Missoula, MT, December 17, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Bear managers pushed back on recent concerns over grizzly bear deaths during a meeting of state and federal wildlife officials in Missoula Tuesday.

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

A federal court in Missoula ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday to issue an overdue report assessing how threatened grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are doing. The order stems from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in U.S. District Court this summer.

A slide showing grizzly bear morality rates shown during Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, Dec. 3, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The last two years have been the deadliest on record for grizzlies in and around Glacier National Park. There have been at least 48 grizzly mortalities this year in the area, called the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). As grizzly mortalities mount, bear managers in northwest Montana are trying to tackle the sources of rising deaths.

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.

Western glacier stone flies depend on glacial meltwater in high-elevation alpine environments. But scientists estimate the famed ice masses and snowfields of Glacier National Park will have mostly disappeared by 2030.
Joe Giersch, Aquatic Entomologist / USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Two stone fly species found in Glacier National Park were listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act Wednesday due to the impacts of climate change, according to a rule published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The two species, the western glacier stone fly and the meltwater lednian stone fly, depend on glacial meltwater in high-elevation alpine environments. But scientists estimate the famed ice masses and snowfields of Glacier National Park will have mostly disappeared by 2030.

Bull trout
flickr/USFWS Headquarters

Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its recovery plan for bull trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The groups say the plan doesn’t provide any way to determine if and when the species is recovered.

Fred Allendorf speaks during a Nov. 15, 2019 meeting in Missoula about grizzly bear connectivity. The meeting was called by five independent researchers. Organizers Jake Kreilick and Mike Bader are visible in the background.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

After Montana’s new Grizzly Bear Advisory Council met last week in Bozeman to map out a state management plan for the expanding grizzly bear populations near Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, researchers in Missoula railed against turning management over from federal agencies to the state.

As grizzly bear populations in Montana expand into areas where they haven’t been seen for generations, so does the number of potential conflicts with humans.

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Conservation groups announced Monday that they sent a letter to BNSF Railway threatening a lawsuit over grizzly bears killed along its train tracks. So far this year, a record eight grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been killed by trains.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s illegal to kill them, even if it’s an accident.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating several recent human-caused grizzly bear deaths in southwest Montana. 

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