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Natural Resources & Energy

New Study Shows Grizzly Numbers Higher Than Previously Thought

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The overall population of grizzly bears is now at around 1,000. That’s according to a biannual study from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team that has adopted a new method for estimating grizzly populations. Wildlife biologist Frank Van Manen says the higher numbers came as a surprise even to him.

“So far, relatively low conflicts, relatively low mortality, good reproduction.  We already had kind of a peak year last year. So we did not anticipate a lot of females with cubs this year. But we were pleasantly surprised.”

Van Manen says that the old data collection method, which estimated that there were only about 750 grizzlies in Wyoming this year, was too conservative. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife requires that the bear’s minimum population be kept above 500. At the end of the year, that agency will take the study’s results into consideration in a decision over whether to delist the grizzly from the Endangered Species List.

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