Global Warming, Killer Bears?

Obama’s Abandonment of the West

Grizzly feeding on elk © Ken Cole

Doug Peacock continues to enrich the debate over grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem :

Global Warming, Killer Bears? Doug Peacock, Counterpunch

Biologists sometimes like to quibble that losing the grizzly because of the collapse of whitebark pine forests may be the least of our ecological worries. Ecosystems are, of course, founded on the backs of bugs and bacteria not bears. But there is another argument, less scientific, for keeping a few grizzlies around: the American grizzly bear, especially the isolated population marooned on the island of Yellowstone Park, stands alone in defiance of human arrogance. It is the single North American animal who challenges our dominion, reminds us that we are not top dog in the wilderness or within the food pyramid.

Bear mauling. One said to be dead, 2 injured at Cooke City campground

Reports show one dead after bear mauling at Cooke City campground. Reports  are still sketchy of a

Update on attack. Bear attack leaves one dead near Yellowstone. By Laura Zuckerman. Reuters

Update no 2. (July 29). Male dies in bear attack at campground near Yellowstone. By Brett French. Billings Gazette.
It is still not clear if this was a black bear or grizzly attack and if more than one bear.  The tents appear not to have had bear attractants.

Update  no. 3 (July 29). Grizzly bear and cubs captured after fatal campground attack near Yellowstone. LA Times.

Update no. 4 (August 2). Montana grizzly attack cubs malnourished. Matt Brown. Associated Press.

Report of investigative team on Erwin Evert death in Kitty Creek (grizzly attack)

This is a long pdf file, but interesting-

Most will will glance at this, but some will read it all.

There are a lot of facts I didn’t know, such as Erwin was not killed on or adjacent to the Kitty Creek trail.

Grizzly bear that ate hens euthanized

Grizzly that wandered the Montana plains commits a final unpardonable sin-

Yes, and a year ago it ate some sheep. Two chickens this year were two too many.

It makes me sad because it reminds me that no matter what we fantasize, the bears and us are stuck in a depressed, overpopulated, bureaucratized world with little chance of change.

Grizzly bear that ate hens euthanized. Missoulian. AP

Investigation Launched Into Grizzly Bear Mauling of Botanist Outside Yellowstone National Park

This story gives more info on the dead botanist Erwin Frank Evert-

Story from National Parks Traveler. By Kurt Repanshek

Evert recently wrote Vascular Plants of the Greater Yellowstone Area. He knew the Yellowstone country well. His death certainly is a loss.

Officials kill grizzly bear suspected in fatal mauling near Yellowstone

This story has a lot of twists and turns from various officials-

This story, at least the earlier version of it, has already been discussed a lot in “have you hears any good wildlife . . .”

I decided it was time to post the outcome: dead man and dead bear.  Was this a screwup, bad luck ??  There hasn’t been very much accurate official information. The incidents took place in the Kitty Creek area, east of Yellowstone Park adjacent to the Washakie Wilderness.

Officials kill bear suspected in fatal mauling near Yellowstone. Billings Gazette. By Ruffin Provost.

June 23 Update. Griz victim knew of trap. Friend of slain botanist said the scientist went into bear area despite warnings. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide

A second generation grizzly-polar bear?

Polar bear-grizzly hybrids are extremely rare, though one was found (that is, shot) last year.

Now a second generation bear might have been discovered (shot by a native hunter). Story in the National Post.

B.C. grizzly, possible predatory attack on 2 men in tent

Hunters survive night attack in Purcell Mountains. Hiked 5 kilometers back to truck after attack-

Two lucky hunters survived what sounds to me like a half-hearted predatory attack by a female grizzly. There is evidence that they had been followed by two grizzlies earlier that day.

I say “half-hearted” because they would not have survived a full scale attack. Although they had a rifle in the tent, during the struggle they couldn’t chamber the bullet. Fortunately, they were able to chase the bear away.

B.C. hunters on the mend after grizzly bear attack. By Sunny Dhillon (CP)

Charges in grizzly bear death near Ditch Creek (WY)

Although this has been discussed in comments on other threads, here is the news story-

Charges in grizzly bear death near Ditch Creek. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole Daily.

This bear might have been the cub (now a sub-adult) of locally famous grizzly bear 399.

Although this story has already been discussed in some comments, I think it merits a full post.

Alberta grizzlies down to just 580 bears

Will they become a Canadian threatened species?

To many Americans, Canada is still the “great white north” where multitudes of wildlife live in wilderness and “tree huggers” silly enough to want to see a bear or a wolf can go a see one behind almost every tree.

The reality is massive development, and especially in Alberta which has become essentially a petro-state.

Alberta’s government seems to sort of be moving toward more protection such as a permanent cancellation of the annual grizzly bear hunt against the strong resistance of some hunting groups.

A recent 5-year study that included most of Alberta (not its far north or Jasper and Banff*) using the most effect method — DNA analysis of bear fur — found only 581 bears. They had expected about a thousand. This is fewer than Montana’s grizzly population in and around Glacier National Park and adjacent Wilderness areas and backcountry.

The Alberta grizzly might be put on the Canadian threatened species list.

Here are a couple stories from the last few days.

While many think of these two national parks as a stronghold of the grizzly, there are not large populations there because their rugged nature means most of the Parks are not good bear habitat. Moreover, the biologically production areas are often filled with highways, towns, resorts, and railroads.

Rancher fined for killing grizzly; reward now up to $6,000 in Dupuyer, Montana area shooting

The Dupuyer case is the one of the giant grizzly bear (posted earlier)-

Rancher fined for killing grizzly; reward now up to $6,000 in Dupuyer area shooting. By Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

Reward offered to get killer of huge Montana grizzly-

Size of reward for killer of “Maximus” not specified, but substantial-

Reward offered for information in killing of big Montana grizzly. By Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

Giant, 800 pound grizzly illegally killed on the Rocky Mountain Front

“Someone just indiscriminately shot the bear”

The bear was informally known as Maximus. His decaying carcass was found by a rancher off Fish Creek west of Dupuyer, Montana.

Officials probe killing of giant grizzly on Front. By Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer. The Tribune article says that was probably the 2 nd largest grizzly in Montana.

The “grizzly-whisperer” and Old Man Lake female

Carrie Hunt has had great success but one “too friendly” griz is going to die-

Michael Jamison of the Missoulian has written a most interesting article about a so far gentle old Glacier Park sow who has resisted all efforts, including the most sophisticated (bear shepherding), to stop approaching people. It may be because the bear was not “shepherded” for two years.

Grizzly sow in Glacier will be killed.  By Michael Jamison.
Added on 8/18/09. Grizzly sow, yearling cub killed in Glacier National Park. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

Montana grizzly makes it to the Missouri River

Earlier (in June) we posted an article about grizzlies that had come out of the Rocky Mountain Front mountains are were out on the plains east of Interstate 15 in Montana (that is a N-S 4-line highway).

The bear was 177 miles from Pine Butte Swamp, a nature preserve on the Front where grizzly bears are often found in the springtime.

Wayward grizzly caught. By Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff writer.

Grizzly shot by Idaho elk farmer south of Interstate 90

Second killing of griz in two years shows some grizzlies getting past the Interstate Highway 90 barrier-

Interstate Highway 90 cuts across NW Montana and the Panhandle of Idaho creating a massive barrier to grizzly migration and restoration to central Idaho. That’s the bad news. The good news it is not absolute.

Although finding a grizzly by way of its being dead is not the happiest method of finding a bear on the south side of the barrier, the fact that a grizzly was just shot there by an elk farmer near Rose Lake, Idaho in the Panhandle makes it at least the second bear to cross in two years.

Because both bears were killed, that raises a strong possibility that others have made it and survived.

Story in the Spokesman Review. Grizzly had killed bull elk, farmer says. Bear shot after attack at Bugle Mountain Elk Farm.

– – – – – – –

On the earlier dead grizzly. Grizzly Bear killed in north central Idaho came from the Selkirk Mountains. October 2, 2007

Grizzly bear found dead in the Ashton Reservoir (Idaho)

Yearling male grizzly found dead under suspicious circumstances-

Idaho Fish and Game Dept. news release. Jan. 16, 2009

Posted in Bears, Poaching. Tags: , . Comments Off on Grizzly bear found dead in the Ashton Reservoir (Idaho)

Tufts of grizzly fur being used to determine genetic health of population

In particular, researchers are looking to see if bears from the northwest corner of Montana have wandered into the Yellowstone ecosystem. To date, no,” [Charles] Schwartz said. Getting those genes into the greater Yellowstone ecosystem could provide a needed boost for the 550 to 600 grizzlies that live in and around the park.

“The GYE has the lowest diversity of the populations in the lower 48,” Schwartz said.

– – – – –

As a result they are doing DNA analysis of bits of grizzly fur to see if the Yellowstone population needs genetic augmentation.

Story by Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

Pickup truck kills huge grizzly bear near Lincoln, Mountana

A 700 pound grizzly (huge for the interior Rocky Mountains) was hit and killed by a pickup truck on Highway 200 not far from Lincoln, Montana.

This is in the NCDE grizzly recovery area, not the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Story: Pickup truck kills 700-pound griz near Lincoln. By John Cramer. Missoulian

– – – – –

Update. Nov. 6. Grizzly Killed by Pickup: The Photos. New West. By Matthew Frank.

Update. Dec. 12. Folks in Montana have tug-of-war over display of giant grizzly. By Kark Puckett. Great Falls Tribune. It turns out the bear was not 700 pounds, but well over 800 pounds!

Update. Dec. 14. The big griz will be mounted and displayed in the Lincoln Ranger District Office (US Forest Service). By Larry Kline. Helena Independent Record.

Note: this is one of the most visited posts on the blog. There is a lot of misinformation about where this bear was killed. It was near Lincoln, Montana. That’s north of Helena. If you are old enough, you might remember the “unibomber” lived near Lincoln. The area has long been known as grizzly bear country.

Grizzly that mauled Yellowstone Park employee while he was hunting has been found dead

He did shoot the bear, and many assumed it would die. They were right.

It was found in Little Trail Creek near Gardiner, Montana with part of its jaw blasted off. It had one or two year cubs which are still in the area.

Story in the Billings Gazette.

Grizzly Bear killed in north central Idaho came from the Selkirk Mountains

The grizzly bear that was killed by a bear hunter in a vast backcountry area near Kelly Creek migrated there from the beleaguered bear population in the Selkirk Mountains of extreme northern Idaho. That’s the part of Idaho called “The Panhandle”.

DNA tests showed that the big healthy bear came from the Selkirks. Grizzlies there, and in central Idaho (where none were thought to be) are still on the threatened species list, and were not affected by the recent delisting of the grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Many, including myself, hope this bear was not the only grizzly in vast central and north central Idaho mountains.

Here is the news release from Idaho Fish and Game.