Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone Still Need Protection
Here’s an email from concerned citizen Rebecca Canright, who also authored an essay in the 2016 edition of the Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet:
I’m not sure if you’ve already heard, but the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removing the Yellowstone area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List. A terrible idea, to say the least!
Please feel free to submit comments to the FWS urging them to keep grizzlies on the Endangered List…. I’ve included below the comment that I submitted, if you would like to use it.
Link to Submit Comments — Comment period ends Tuesday, May 10
I respectfully urge the FWS to NOT remove the Yellowstone area population of grizzly bears from the endangered species list for the following reasons:
- The proposed rule does not address genetic isolation of the bears. The Yellowstone area population gene pool is too small and is disconnected from populations to the north. There are no plans to provide opportunities for the grizzlies to reach other bear populations to allow for biological diversity and dispersing individuals are subject to persecution, making connectivity all that much less likely.
- Yellowstone area bears are already struggling due to declining food sources. Historically bears dependent on 4 food sources – 2 of which (whitebark pine and cutthroat trout) are disappearing and moths, their third main food source, are increasingly unreliable due to pesticide usage.
- Grizzlies are one of the slowest reproducing mammals in North America. As a result, loss of several females in a year could be devastating for the population.
- If removed from the Endangered Species List, grizzly bears will be subject to trophy hunting and removal; such practices could quickly reverse any previously successful population gains.
- Grizzlies occupy only 1% of their historic range. Removing them from the Endangered Species List would put them at risk of further population decline.
- Most Americans oppose delisting. A recent poll by Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Humane Society of the United States found that a majority of American voters do not support the proposed delisting. 55% of Americans oppose delisting, while just 26% support it.
Once again, please keep Yellowstone’s grizzly bears on the endangered species list. Thank you!