The grizzly bear has been the biggest predator in the valley of ranch men yet they are learning to live with him. As animal habitats are infiltrated by man, bears are forced into accepting human populations where there were none before. If bears and humans are to coexist, we must change our behavior to minimize our impact on the bears. Alternatively, there will be vicious attacks by rebounding populations of predators.
In Montana’s Madison Valley, a verdant grassland 40 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park, rancher Todd Graham says:
If we’re going to survive running livestock out here,” he says, “we’ve got to rely on each other.
Charles Schwartz, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey states:
Everybody wants to live next to the national forest so they’ll have big backyards, But some of that happens to be grizzly bear habitat.
This predator omnivore weighing as much as 350-600 pounds has an extraordinary sense of smell. Grizzlies can be twice as big as black bears, so they require more food and a bigger range
What is the new threat to the grizzlies after habitat loss?
Human activity by products; birdseed, dog food, barbecue grills, and garbage lure hungry grizzlies right into the houses
Bears that become a nuisance frequently end up dead — usually shot by government game managers.
Changing climate brings drought years which result in increased attacks on cattle and sheep.
Yellowstone’s grizzlies, once threatened with extinction, have made a strong recovery: Some 500 to 600 bears live in and around the park, up from fewer than 200 in the 1970s. The road to recovery has been long and slow, but as their populations grow, we have to make sure they do not become a threatened species again. Most ranchers are looking for alternate grazing sites away from the fringes of the Yellowstone national park. What do you think can be done in such a situation?
Via: On Earth