A U.S. Geological Survey science team has determined that the grizzly bear population has recovered enough that the bear can be taken off the endangered species list.
A report delivered in November by the US Geological Survey’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team describes a resilient and healthy bear population that has adapted to the loss of pine nuts by eating more elk and bison, keeping fat stores at levels that allow the bears to survive and reproduce. For Christopher Servheen, a biologist who oversees grizzly-bear recovery efforts at the Fish and Wildlife Service in Missoula, Montana, that is not surprising. “Bears are flexible,” he says. “It’s easier to say what they don’t eat than what they do eat.”
Not surprisingly, environmental activists don’t like this decision. They claim that, wait for it, global warming threatens the bear enough that it should not be delisted.
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