Grizzly Death Since September Not Abnormally High

Oct 23, 2018

Credit National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Since the last week of September when the grizzly bear returned to the federal threatened species list, there have been 15 grizzly mortalities. But are these numbers especially high?

Frank van Manen said no. He's the lead scientists of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

"I would not call those numbers abnormal. They are certainly a little bit on the high end compared to previous years but they're not that much higher," he said. "In the past, we've had numbers as high as 12 and 13 so we're just a little bit higher than other high years and that's why I don't consider it be a high number."

Grizzlies are more active in the fall preparing for winter hibernation. And because it coincides with elk hunting season more humans are out in grizzly habitat.

However, when looking at 2018 as a whole, conservation groups are saying it is the most lethal year ever for grizzlies. To date, there are 59 deaths with a month to go before the bears hibernate. This number is higher than the past two years.