Human caused deaths driving grizzlies toward extinction in Banff N. P.

The train route through the Park is the major killer, but hardly the only human source of mortality.

Story. Grizzly bear decline blamed on humans. Trains top killers in Banff, Jasper parks, says report. Cathy Ellis, The Calgary Herald






  1. SmokyMtMan Avatar

    Banff is in a lot of trouble. In many ways, that Park is representative of the many dilemmas and problems that face most Parks.

    The Park has lost species to extinction, even after establishment of the Park. The same can be said of the Everglades and the Great Smoky Mountains NP, the 2 most biologically diverse Parks in the U.S.

    I think it’s tragic that established, protected Parks are losing species to extinction as I write this. This sad fact is indicative of the true difficulty of conserving our diversity for the future.

    If our Parks are losing species to extinction, then how are we going to preserve our biological diversity? If we cannot protect the wildlife in our established Parks, what will happen to the diversity outside of the Parks in the future?

    The Great Smoky Mountains NP and the Everglades NP have both suffered many losses of species to extinction since they were created as parks. Many people are unaware of the extent of these losses.

    I think as human population grows, economic development increases, climate change exerts itself more, as invasive species continue to arrive, habitat fragmentation continues, and we continue to utilize natural resources that our Parks depend upon, we are going to lose even more of our biological diversity in our Parks.

    And if we cannot save our species from extinction in our Parks, what hope is there for the future of conservation? Realistically, are we just inevitably headed for a future with empty Parks? A lot of pretty scenery with little native flora and fauna left?

    I am afraid the evidence is pointing to that kind of future world. There are things plaguing our Parks that we are helpless against, and as I write this the tragedy of extinction is all too present and common in the protected areas of our nation’s Parks.


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.

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Ralph Maughan