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Endangered and Threatened Species of Wyoming - Essay Example

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Grizzly Bear. The grizzly bear (see Figure 1), whose scientific name is Ursus arctos horribilis, is called grizzly due to the light-colored fur on the back and shoulders, which may be brown, or blonde, or black…
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Endangered and Threatened Species of Wyoming
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Download file to see previous pages All grizzly bears have thick fur that shields them from cold and moisture (Potts, 1997, pp. 7-8). Figure 1. The grizzly bear has fur that has grayish tips. From “Grizzly Bear,” by J. Eastcott and Y. Momatiuk, n.d., Copyright by J. Eastcott and Y. Momatiuk. Reprinted with permission. The adult grizzly bear has an average height of three to five feet when it is on all fours and six to 10 feet when standing. An adult grizzly may weigh from 600 pounds (Potts, 1997, p.4) to 800 pounds (“Grizzly Bear,” 2011), and even 1,400 pounds. When it comes to the physical description of the grizzly, it has flat feet and a muscular shoulder hump that powers the forelimbs for digging. Its head is round “with a concave facial profile” (“Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)”, 2011). According to the National Geographic, grizzly bears are “top-of-the-food-chain predators”. Although they eat animals, surprisingly, grizzly bears are fond of fruits, berries, leaves and roots (“Grizzly Bear,” 2011). Potts (1997) reported that there are 40,000 to 50,000 grizzly bears living in the mountains and forests of Canada and Alaska. In the United States, particularly in the states of Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Idaho, the number of grizzlies is from 600 to 800 (p.5). In Wyoming, grizzly bears are recognized as threatened. Whitaker & Hamilton (1998) define threatened as the likelihood that a species become endangered in the future whereas an endangered species is in the danger of extinction throughout a part of its range (p.549). Due to burgeoning population, people occupy the territories of grizzly bears, driving them away from their home. When this happens, the food supply of these bears becomes limited; thus, grizzly bears go after the farm animals of the settlers. In turn, these settlers hunted the bears until they were almost extinct (Potts, 1997, p.13). Primarily, it was the dwindling number of existing grizzly bears that prompted their being threatened. In an article, it says that human activities that occur in the habitat of grizzlies also deprive these animals of territory and food supply. These activities include timber cutting, grazing, private land development and so on (Delvin, 1999). These grizzly bears have been recognized as threatened since 1967. Not surprisingly, humans bear greater responsibility in managing grizzly bears. It is the humans who pushed grizzly bears out of their territories. Due to growing population, some people settled in areas that are natural habitat to grizzly bears. Moreover, human influence has changed the bears’ natural ecosystems through the many activities such as timber cutting. Human contact has also led to some bears being hunted. For the past years, there were some debates whether grizzly bears should be delisted as threatened. Some experts disapproved, saying that bears are not ready yet to be delisted. However, there are some suggestions to improve the situation of grizzlies. First, there must be a law or policy that strictly prohibits the killing of bears. It is noteworthy that grizzlies were included in the threatened creatures list because of their dwindling number. Thus, for grizzlies to completely recover, humans must not kill them. Second, the government must provide a habitat with sufficient area where the bears are secured and have no way of venturing to where humans live. This is in relation to the fact that bears ventured out of Yellowstone that might “bring them into dangerous contact with humans” (Eilperin, 2005). Finally, the habitat of the grizzlies must be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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