Image © Roger Hayden - all rights reserved
The lifeways of grizzly bears are endlessly fascinating. Here—among other things—we explore the underpinnings of grizzly bear ecology and basic bear facts. We summarize much research here that has not been presented previously in a comprehensive or up-to-date fashion. Citations are available upon request.
While the science is cool and research on grizzly bears is mountainous, there is much that we do not understand. Adaptations such as hibernation are still mysterious and miraculous.
And, often, the more we do know, the more questions arise. And there are new ones, such as how will bears adapt to a warming world at the same time that human pressures are mounting?
Science, summarized here, provide important context to understand policies and upcoming decisions.
For science more specifically related to the delisting debate, see (debunking delisting).
Grizzly Bears are intelligent, inquisitive and generally peaceful animals that, contrary to popular belief, rarely attack humans. But grizzlies come into the world with formidable strikes against them, including low reproductive rates, small litter sizes, long periods of being raised by their mothers. . .
These maps and graphs provide important orientation and context for information and analysis provided elsewhere on this site.
Grizzly bears have been relegated to just 1% of the habitat they occupied at the time of European settlement. Since then recovery efforts have been uneven. Although significant suitable habitat remains within which grizzlies could be recovered, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (“the Service”) has only focused on recovery efforts in four areas . . .
Although no study has been conducted that directly measures the economic value of grizzly bears, much has been done to document the value of protecting their wild habitat. And the overall contribution of wildlife and related activities to state and community coffers has been evaluated in some studies.
This scientific information calls into question the status quo approach to grizzly bear recovery in the contiguous US in two ways: first by providing a science-based justification for recasting and reframing the Recovery Plan for grizzly bears in the Lower-48; and, second, by highlighting the immense body of relevant science that has emerged since the Recovery Plan was last revised in 1993.
Underscores the imperative for providing larger connected populations and taking other steps towards recovery, as well as reducing human-caused mortality. It also describes how grizzlies integrate ecosystems.
Did you know there are many ways that Yellowstone’s grizzly bears are unique in the behaviors they exhibit and the foods they eat, not only in North America, but also globally?
Money and politics have driven decisions about the fate of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears for the last 50 years. You often hear that more is known about Yellowstone grizzly bears than any other population of bears. Still, no study has been conducted that directly measures the economic value of grizzly bears. But, much has been done to document the value of protecting their wild habitat and the value of wildlife generally.
Here we celebrate how amazing grizzly bears are -- with their almost miraculous ability to hibernate, to give birth in the dead of winter, and to survive in harsh climates. Yellowstone grizzlies are unique among brown bear populations in the world --- a fact that is under-appreciated by many. Here, you will find out how these bears are special, and why losing this population would be tragic.
Hibernation - the frontier of wonder
Isn't it a miracle that grizzlies can sleep through the winter without losing muscle mass or organ function?
Did you know that in the dead of winter mother grizzlies birth cubs the size of teacups?
Yellowstone Grizzlies are Unique
Interesting fact: Yellowstone's grizzlies are different from all others in the foods that they rely on!
Army cutworm moths are a grizzly's equivalent of a Mars Bar. They can eat 40,000 per DAY in the
alpine regions! For more on bears and moths, follow THIS LINK
Grizzly bears eat multitudes of cutthroat trout nowhere else on Earth other than in Yellowstone National Park, in streams tributary to Yellowstone Lake.