There are only about 1,500 grizzly bears left in the lower 48 states. Approximately 600 of those are in the area of Yellowstone Park. In spite of serious population decline, in 2017 grizzly bears (also called the North American brown bear) were stripped from the Endangered Species Act protections. That meant that the Grizzlies in the Yellowstone area were no longer to be protected by Federal laws and further that plans were in place to allow them to be hunted for sport in Montana (800 population) and Idaho (estimated at less than 100).
Good News – A federal judge has ruled these actions illegal!
These magnificent creatures hibernate five to seven months each year. In preparation for this time of inactivity, they must eat approximately 400 pounds of food. The males leave hibernation first followed by the females with young born during hibernation.
Most Grizzlies die before maturity due to hunters and predators. Those who survive live for 20-26 years on average. We are fortunate in the United States to have over 50,000 Grizzlies in Alaska, but those in the lower forty-eight are in danger of disappearing unless we continue to protect them and their habitat.
It is up to us to be aware of the violations and threats to laws and rules that protect these bears and other endangered species.