The Yellowstone Grizzly: No Longer 'Threatened,' But Still At Risk?

Jul 18, 2017

With guest host Anthony Brooks.

The Yellowstone Grizzly has been taken off the threatened species list. Many conservationists say that’s a big mistake.

No animal symbolizes the American West better than the grizzly bear. Big, wild, and not long ago, almost extinct. Now, the mighty bears are back – so the federal government plans to remove Yellowstone grizzlies from the list of threatened species. But the prospect of hunting grizzly bears has sparked a ferocious uproar from conservationists, scientists and Indian tribes. This hour On Point: the fight for Yellowstone’s grizzlies. — Anthony Brooks


Thomas McNamee, book writer about natural history and conservation. Author of the recent New York Times op-ed, “The Government is Now the Yellowstone Grizzly’s Biggest Threat.” (@innercatlife)

Christopher Servheen, bear biologist and research associate professor at the University of Montana. Former grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 35 years.

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Conservationists and tribes denounce U.S. plan to remove Yellowstone grizzly bears from endangered species list — “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week said the agency intends to remove grizzlies living in the Yellowstone area from Endangered Species Act protection. The change will be entered into the federal registry next week and can take effect 30 days from that point. The move was decried by several conservation groups and Native American tribes who feared the delisting of the grizzly would lead states to open up hunting season on the bears in the protected Yellowstone zone, which reaches into Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Environmental groups to challenge removal of grizzly bears from endangered species list — “But many environmental groups and some tribal governments still think the federal government is moving too quickly. They cite the growing number of bear deaths, increased human conflicts brought by the bears’ shift to a more meat-based diet and the potential legal conflict posed by delisting one subpopulation of bears before recovering all grizzlies in the lower 48.”

New York Times: The Government Is Now the Yellowstone Grizzly’s Biggest Threat — “In March 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the Yellowstone grizzly bear population from the list of threatened species. The uproar was ferocious. Conservationists, scientists, 125 Indian tribes and some 650,000 citizens expressed concern about the move. Now the government has gone and done it anyway.”

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit