Grizzly Tracking – Crucial Corridor
Treinish: Really make sure you notice the silver tips on the end of this hair. That’s where a grizzly bear gets it’s name. These are the grizzled ends of the hair. Grizzled tips.
We’re in the Tobacco Root Mountains near Yellowstone Park with a group of volunteers searching for evidence of Grizzly Bears. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Gregg Treinish is Founder and Executive Director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.
Treinish: The greater Yellowstone ecosystem, this whole area, we know supports about 600 grizzly bears. This is a population that has been steadily growing since they were listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The Tobacco Root Range lies at the entry point to a crucial corridor of land where Grizzlies may pass through.
Treinish: Over here in the Frank Church (river) is another area that’s capable of sustaining six to eight hundred more grizzlies over there. Wildlife connectivity, the idea that animals need to move between protected ecosystems is an essential piece of their survival over time. They need to be able to move to mix genetically. If they’re all trapped in one area they’re going to interbreed and they’re not going to be able to genetically mix.”
The volunteers mission is to find evidence of grizzlies in the area so that the corridor can stay open.
Treinish: There’s never been a bear documented in the Tobacco route since the 30’s. There’s some anecdotal evidence of them way up north here but there’s nothing that we know is over there that’s been scientifically documented. This is an important opportunity. If we can show that there’s bears here that are under the Endangered Species Act, management decisions have to change, we have to have ESA’s for logging, for oil and gas development, for all other kinds of development as well. But most importantly it’s this key area in between not only the animals’ movement to the north towards to glacier area but also to the west.
We’ll hear more about tracking Grizzlies in Yellowstone in future programs. Our thanks to Emily Sogn for the recordings. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.