A court in San Francisco, USA has ruled that grizzly bears around the Yellowstone National Park will remain protected by the Endangered Species Act and must therefore not be hunted, despite being delisted from the act in 2017.
This month’s decision was made upon concluding that the delisting violated the act, as the bears were removed from the list out of political pressure rather than being based on essential scientific data.
“We applaud the decision of the 9th circuit court – a triumph of science over politics – in ensuring that Yellowstone grizzly bears are allowed to truly recover and thrive,” says Sarah McMillan, conservation director of WildEarth Guardians which was involved with the lawsuit.
Considered one of the most successful conservation efforts ever made, the population of the grizzly bear around the Yellowstone National Park grew from about 130 animals in 1975 – when it was first labeled as “threatened” – to at least 728 in 2019. And the bears’ populations even expanded to places they haven’t been in at least a century. According to McMillan, the grizzly bear population across the U.S. should reach between 5,000 and 10,000 animals before it is truly considered stable, whereas the national population is currently under 2,000.