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GYE grizzly bear counts could be inadequate

Posted: Monday, Aug 26th, 2013

PINEDALE – Counting grizzly bears is no easy task, and according to a new study recently released in Conservation Letters, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) grizzly bear estimates may be way off.

Declining food sources and a change in grizzly bear habitat may be leading to the assumption that more bears are inhabiting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) than there actually are, according to Daniel Doak, from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Kerry Cutler, of the University of California-Berkeley, co-authors of the peer-reviewed scientific paper.

“We find that inadequate attention to increasing observation effort and also to the life history characteristics of bears is likely to have substantially influenced past analyses of the population's trajectory,” the paper’s abstract reads. “We conclude that the GYE grizzly has probably increased far less than generally believed, but also that past analyses have been too inaccurate to allow any firm conclusions about the dynamics or status of this population.”

For the complete article see the 08-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-27-2013 paper.

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