USFWS: Do Not Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears From The Endangered Species List

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing grizzly bears from protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Threats to grizzlies will significantly increase after delisting and have the potential to quickly reverse the work done to protect Grizzly Bears over 40 years.

Issues including oversight, funding, connectivity, hunting, food security, habitat encroachment, accurate population counts, conflict prevention, the effects of climate change, and the anti-predator culture of western states haven’t been adequately addressed by the states nor the USFWS.

Grizzly bears were designated, or listed, as threatened with extinction in 1975. Various agencies and stakeholder groups hold differing opinions about the status of the population and how it should be managed in the future.

If the delising of grizzlies occurs, hunting may resume outside national parks pursuant to state management plans. The states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming may manage bear hunts as they do with other wildlife species like deer, elk, wolves, and pronghorn.

The USFWS has worked to recover Yellowstone grizzlies from a low of around 136 grizzlies to their current population of 717, but they remain vulnerable and delisting significantly increases their vulnerability.

We believe the grizzlies of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem must remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

-Delisting means the removal of a species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Downlisting is the reclassification of a species from Endangered to Threatened. To delist a species is to take away their protection.

If the USFWS determines that the threats to grizzlies have been sufficiently reduced, then they consider delisting or downlisting the speceies. The Service first proposes the action in the Federal Register. At this time, they also seek the opinion from independent species experts, other Federal agencies, State biologists, and the public. After analyzing the comments received on the proposed rulemaking, they decide whether to complete the proposed action or maintain the species status as it is.

Your voice does matter. There is almost 97,000 signatures and 3,000 more needed to bring this petition to the Whitehouse. Please tell the USFWS to maintain protection for Yellowstone Grizzlies.

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