Dr. Joel Berger has become notable for his research on Greater Yellowstone moose. In this interview with the New York Times he talks about how the growing presence of grizzly bears in the Grand Teton NP area is related to, may result in moose moving closer to roads to escape grizzly bear predation on their calves.

 When Grizzlies Ruin Eden, Moose Take to the Road. By Claudia Dreifus. New York Times.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

7 Responses to When Grizzlies Ruin Eden, Moose Take to the Road

  1. Robert Hoskins says:

    Excellent interview, horrible title.

    Agreed. Ralph Maughan

  2. kim kaiser says:

    this should make moose hunters happy!! they wont have to hunt them so hard, can shoot em off the side of the road,,,,

  3. SmokyMtMan says:

    It has been speculated that coyotes in Yellowstone are doing the same thing: using roadways as travel corridors, and keeping closer to the roads. Of course, this is because wolves avoid the roads.

    Animals aren’t stupid, they adapt to the changing environment, and GYE has changed immensely lately.

  4. vicki says:

    I’ve actually seen three moose calves close to a road in Colorado. They were still wet, and wobbling. So I am sure they were newborns. That was just last year. We don’t have wolves (many) or grizzlies. So why is this occuring here? The moose here have only a few coyotes and cougars, amybe an occasional black bear to contend with, otherwise-no predators.
    This is interesting.
    The article makes it seem as though bears were no where to be found in the GYE until the 90’s. That was somewhat misleading.
    And I agree, the title was awful! Ruined paradise…whatever!
    I thought that moose had been heading out of the parks for a while? I thought they had been seeing fewer for a while now.
    At any rate, it was interesting.

  5. Robert Hoskins says:


    Uh, there is no hunting of moose anywhere at the time moose cows come to term (late spring). Moose hunting always occurs in the fall of each year.


  6. Tai says:

    The bears will figure it out, and if the end (a tasty moose calf) justifies the means (getting close to roads and unpredictable humans) the bears will soon be feasting on moose calves.

    This reminds me of bear predation on caribou calves in Alaska. Caribou go to specific calving areas, and they all drop their calves at the same time–I think the term for it is “swamping.” Some calves may get picked off by predators, but predators can only eat so much in a few days, so the majority of calves will survive. Anyhow, biologists tracking grizzlies with radio collars and gps noticed that grizzlies headed for caribou calving areas at the precise time of year the carbiou gave birth.

    Bears in Yellowstone will figure it out, it’s just a matter of “is it worth the risk?”


February 2008


‎"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