Grizzly Bear Range Expanding | Big Horn Basin Media

Grizzly Bear Range Expanding

Written by on April 10, 2017

Bears in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are roaming farther and wider.

According to reports from the United States Geologic Survey and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in 2004 the grizzly bear’s range was 36,000 square kilometers, and in 2016 had grown to 65,000 square kilometers.

Park County Commissioner Loren Groskopf is a member of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee, or YES, which he says is in charge of the recovery of the grizzly bear in this region. Groskopf says that at their March meeting in Jackson, game and fish and USGS officials presented evidence that the number of grizzlies in their Demographic Recovery Area – the primary habitat for the animals – is growing more dense.

Groskopf says that from 2014-2015 the bears’ range expanded 11 percent, based on confirmed sightings. Between 2015 and 2016, however, human-bear conflicts fell by 1/3. Groskopf attributes the decline in human-bear conflicts to greater awareness and action on the part of landowners and government agencies.

Groskopf says that grizzlies have been reported as far east as Ralston, just in the last couple of weeks.

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