Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear count estimated at 714

Tim Melling; Flickr
Associated Press

JACKSON, Wyo. — The estimate of the grizzly bear population in and around Yellowstone National Park has been revised downward by 6 percent from a year ago.

The number of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which includes areas of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is estimated at 714 this year, down from 2014’s estimate of 757.

But wildlife biologists say the drop isn’t evidence that the bear population is declining in the long term.

Biologist Frank van Manen tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide ( that the long-term trend in the bear’s population is still flat to increasing slightly.

The decline comes during debate whether federal protections for the grizzly bear should be lifted. Wildlife advocates say grizzly bear numbers are not sufficient enough, while delisting advocates say they are.