L.L. Eberhardt
R.R. Knight
1987
Recent analyses of data on the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population of Yellowstone National Park and its environs suggest the likelihood of a continuing decline in numbers if losses of fully adult females are not reduced. The size of the population is not known, and a simple projection model has been used to identify some inconsistencies in the available index data. Population dynamics calculations, based on Lotka's equation or a stochastic model, indicate a continuing decrease in numbers, although continued observations through radio-telemetry are needed to verify these trends. The margin between stabilizing the population and a continued decrease appears to be roughly the loss of 2 fully adult female bears per year. At present, the risk of extirpation of this population over the next 30 years appears to be small. Continued monitoring of survivorship will be needed, particularly because "recovery" of the population may be mainly characterized by a shift in the pattern of mortality, from adults to subadults, and not necessarily a reduction in absolute number of losses.
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Prospects for Yellowstone grizzly bears
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