As posted some weeks ago, this was a fine year for the whitebark pine nuts in the Greater Yellowstone area. So was last year, and one result is a lot of grizzly bear cubs born and survived.

Yellowstone brims with grizzly cubs. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

The article above and Rocky Barker’s blog both briefly discuss the sow with 4 cubs story we have been following most of the summer. Apparently wolves were a factor in the adoption of the cub.

Rocky Barker’s blog: Grizzly mother adopts neighbors’ cubs after wolf chase. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to The Greater Yellowstone brims with grizzly cubs this year

  1. avatar Monte says:

    Perhaps this is a good time to delist the grizzlies. Maybe the loonies will drop their lawsuits. Nah, that’s too much to hope for.

  2. Monte,

    The concern about the grizzly does not have to do with their current population, but the fact that all their major food sources are likely to decline in the near future and the USFWS made no provision for that in terms of protective corridors for their migration or including habitat where these food sources are likely to still thrive.

    In addition, they [meaning the DOI] did not seek to reestablish a grizzly population in central Idaho where 300 or so grizzlies could easily fit.

  3. avatar skyrim says:

    I do not believe the adoptee Sow had a radio collar as suggested in Barkers piece. My shots of this gang of five sure don’t show it. Anyone else?

  4. avatar skyrim says:

    Nope. Mike Burdic’s excellent images here on this site do not show a radio collar. There is undoubtedly some misinformation floating around out there.

  5. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Ralph,

    I would also add to your response that de-listing the Grizzly is really about one thing: exploiting resources that are currently protected by the Grizzly’s endangered status. When the Grizzly is de-listed, there will be many projects (timber extraction, gas and oil exploration, mining) that will be subsequently approved where they are now prohibited.

    After Grizzly de-listing, a sizable percentage of the currently protected habitat will be degraded by resource extraction. Then what? As the food sources of the Grizzly dwindle further, as the habitat of the Grizzly is diminished by permanent alterations from commercial interests, what will happen to the populations of the Grizzly?

    The Grizzly of the GYE suffers from genetic isolation, faces severe changes and shortages of its primary food sources, mortality rates at the hands of human that are too high, and now its habitat protections are about to be lost.

    These factors all combine to make the Grizzly populations very precarious in the future. This is not fear-mongering, but scientific analysis and near-certainty.

  6. avatar JEFF E says:

    concerning the abundance of whitebark pine nuts. it’s my experience and observation that any species that is under extreme duress, be it flora or fauna, has an immediate and extreme reaction of self preservation.

  7. avatar Robert Bunch says:

    ! was in Yellowstone in Sept. I saw the sow with four cubs on 9/14 near Dunraven pass. On 9/15 I saw and photographed a single cub that appeared to be lost and alone just north of the trailhead at Dunraven pass. Several others including a ranger were there. The next morning 9/16 I saw and photographed a sow with two cubs in the same area as I saw the single cub the day before. Everyone was assuming that the sow was the one with four cubs and that she had lost or become seperated from two of them. Later that same day I saw the sow with the two cubs again. Many people were photographing and watching the bears and as we were watching a third cub came bawling and barreling out of the trees and ran straight to the sow. Everyone assumed this was a reunion of one of the lost cubs with his family. I had to leave the next moring so this was the last time I saw the family. It was really great to see the little cub racing back to his family. I wonder if anyone knows if the fourth cub was ever reunited with the family. I sure hope so.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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