Grizzly bears, different perspectives weigh in…

With the recent announcement of yet another look at the grizzly bear delisting process moving forward in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, voices are being heard, both expected and some not-so-much. The Cougar Fund was present in Missoula in the winter of 2013/14 when the delisting process started again, again. One of the most avid proponents of confirming recovery at that time was then USFWS Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, Chris Servheen. Now he is taking a different view of how safe the bears will be if they face the possibility of losing protections under the Endangered Species Act. This article presents perspectives from Dr Servheen and other stakeholders as the public and those who feel most affected by bears on the landscape try to come to grips with how states management plans should be drawn up.

Please click on the photo below to go to the article.

Avian Flu confirmed in mammals in Montana and Colorado

Montana recently announced that three grizzlies were killed following confirmation that they had contracted bird flu. Bird flu is most likely passed by consumption of an infected carcass, the organism can live up to 48 hours on surfaces and much longer on organic materials such as feathers. Interestingly, while avian flu is almost immediately fatal in birds, many mammals have actually survived after contracting it, although the risk of it spreading through wild populations is extremely serious and the resilience of the virus makes it a global threat to both wild and domestic birds.


Colorado this week added to the data verifying the spread of avian flu to wild mammals in that state. As of November 2023, the US had recorded a record number of cases in wild birds and domestic poultry. State wildlife agencies are now beginning to look at avian flu as a cause of unexplained illness or mortality in other wild species. We know what a devastating effect widespread infection can have on birds, we need to have a concerted approach from the states and federal agencies to the impacts of avian flu on other wildlife as well.