“We’re encouraged by Montana’s decision to keep grizzly bear hunting off the table in 2018. This science-based approach highlights Montana’s commitment to ensuring a healthy and resilient population of grizzly bears in the state. Yellowstone grizzly bears still face challenges, like high human-caused grizzly bear mortalities and isolation from other grizzly bear populations. Through our comprehensive grizzly bear program, Defenders of Wildlife will continue to work with multiple partners, including FWP, to reduce human-caused mortalities, secure safe habitat and reconnect populations of grizzly bears. We believe it is important for humans and grizzlies to coexist, and will continue our efforts to ensure safety for all.
Erin Edge, Rockies & Plains representative at Defenders of Wildlife
HELENA, Mont.,
15
February
2018
|
01:15 AM
America/New_York

For Immediate Release

Montana Commission Denies Grizzly Bear Hunting in 2018

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) recommendation to not open a hunting season for Yellowstone grizzly bears in 2018, less than a year after their delisting. 

On February 8, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposed that the Commission keep the grizzly bear hunting season closed this year due to concerns over low allowable mortality and pending litigation on delisting. 

Erin Edge, Rockies & Plains representative at Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement: 

We’re encouraged by Montana’s decision to keep grizzly bear hunting off the table in 2018. This science-based approach highlights Montana’s commitment to ensuring a healthy and resilient population of grizzly bears in the state.  

“Yellowstone grizzly bears still face challenges, like high human-caused grizzly bear mortalities and isolation from other grizzly bear populations. Through our comprehensive grizzly bear program, Defenders of Wildlife will continue to work with multiple partners, including FWP, to reduce human-caused mortalities, secure safe habitat and reconnect populations of grizzly bears.  

We believe it is important for humans and grizzlies to coexist, and will continue our efforts to ensure safety for all.  

 

Background:

Current mortality levels in the Yellowstone grizzly bear population are too high to allow for additional sources of mortality of the core grizzly bear population or of bears living outside the key recovery area. This could threaten the core grizzly bear population and inhibit connectivity to other grizzly bear populations.

The states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have updated regulations and management plans regarding post-delisting management of grizzly bears. Montana is key to connecting the isolated grizzly bear populations in the U.S. Northern Rockies. Montana must commit to allow and encourage bears to expand and occupy historic habitat between these populations.

A primary factor limiting grizzly bear recovery is human-caused mortality. Bears die when they get into trouble with people’s garbage, livestock, when they are hit by cars and trains or illegally killed. By preventing these conflicts through our coexistence efforts, Defenders of Wildlife is working to help both people and bears.

Historically, an estimated 50,000 grizzly bears roamed North America. By 1975, populations remained in only five small isolated locations in the lower 48 states, including the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where they were down to 136 bears at their lowest point.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.