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.
Conservation groups have pushed back, saying that the government has underestimated the threat that climate change poses to the bears’ food supply, especially stands of whitebark pine. As the Yellowstone region has warmed, mountain pine beetles and blister rust fungus — once thwarted by the cold, dry climate — have devastated the trees, depriving grizzlies of energy-rich pine nuts. Moreover, say conservationists, invasive fish have crowded out native cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake at the heart of the park, reducing another important food source for the bears.
“We have an unprecedented situation with deteriorating foods, and an ecosystem that is unravelling,” says Louisa Willcox, the Northern Rockies representative at the Center for Biological Diversity in Livingston, Montana. The centre was one of several groups that sued the US government in 2007, following an earlier attempt to delist the bear. After two years, a district-court judge restored protection, citing concerns about the declining whitebark pine and its effect on the bears’ diet.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a radical, extremist group that makes its living by suing the federal government. Its understanding of the facts on the ground is almost always wrong. In this case, they claim global warming is harming the bear, even though there has been no global warming and the bear population has increased.
Read the article. It demonstrates once again that global warming has never been an environmental or scientific issue with these leftwing activist groups. Instead, it was created as a political hammer to force society to agree to their ideology, regardless of the facts and without any real regard for protecting the environment.
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