CARNIVORES -- Grizzly bear issues noted by experts this week include: (1) The bear-proof food containers campers have been required to use in bear country may have been tested by underachievers -- bored bears that weren't trying to get to the contents, and (2) grizzly bears are expanding numbers and range in the region but aren't ready for delisting from Endangered Species protections.
Those are two conclusions presented so far by experts gathered in Missoula for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting this week in Missoula.
Bear-proof container makers say bored grizzlies aren't trying in tests
U.S. Forest Service national carnivore program leader Scott Jackson said a problem has been determined with the grizzly bears used to test bear-proof containers -- they are no longer giving it their best effort, opting instead to lick off the available bait and walk away. On a brighter note, Colleen Matt at the Wildlife Management Institute debuted a map that shows all rules regarding food storage on public lands that should be available by April.
Grizzly bear populations recovered, not ready for delisting
Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly populations are at levels high enough for recovery goals, but not for federal delisting, experts say.
-- Montana Public Radio