< Go to Homepage

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Taken Off Endangered Species List After 42 Years

Critics worry the move is premature and could risk the comeback made by the species.

Nature By

Grizzlies are going out on their own.

The Department of Interior announced it will be removing the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the endangered species list after more than four decades, but some critics say its premature.

Since given federal protection in 1975, the grizzly bear population in Yellowstone National Park has risen from 136 to about 700. According to NPR, some conservationists feel that’s not enough of a rebound. Grizzly bears are one of the slowest reproducing mammals on the planet, as such their population expands at a much slower rate than others.

NPR reports the bears have broadened their range and now occupy 50 percent more land than they did before.

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement to the press. “As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

When the delisting occurs in 30 days, the bears’ protection will be managed by state officials.

Read full story at NPR