Victory for Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

Paws Up!

To the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, for striking down the 2007 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection.

A recent ruling by a US federal court will restore endangered species protection for grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. In its decision, the court cited a surge in infestations by beetles as a cause of declining numbers of whitebark pine, a staple food source for the bears. The increase in parasitic beetles has been tied to global warming, as warmer temperatures during winter months have enabled the beetles to survive seasonal die-off, allowing them to inflict greater and more widespread damage to the trees. The association with global warming makes this the second such protection enacted in recognition of the effects of climate change, after the polar bear. The panel of judges pointed out that loss of whitebark pine trees in areas of higher elevation within the national park would inevitably force bears to forage into more populous areas and create tensions with people and livestock.

Take Action: Write to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and applaud them for reinstating important protections for the Yellowstone grizzly, and request the court to continue efforts towards protecting other wildlife. Write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and urge the service to list the whitebark pine as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, which is an issue currently under annual review.

The Honorable Sidney R. Thomas
U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939
Tele. No.: 415 355-8800

Gary Frazer
Assistant Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered Species Program
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420
Arlington, VA 22203

Sources:
The LA Times
Reuters

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