Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending
A female Grizzly in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Source: Karen Bleier/Getty Images
A female Grizzly in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Source: Karen Bleier/Getty Images

A final ruling by U.S. government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700, according to the Associated Press.

The process to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bears' designation as a threatened species began in 2016 under the administration of then-President Barack Obama.

Yellowstone grizzly bears have been on the U.S. Endangered Species list for more than 40 years, after its population initially declined to fewer than 150.

Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park
Source: Karen Bleier/Getty Images

According to AP, environmental groups are expected to push back against the ruling and roughly 125 Native American tribes signed a treaty opposing so-called "trophy" grizzly bear hunts on religious grounds.

Opponents of removing the Yellowstone grizzly's protection have stated concerns that climate change will negatively impact its population in the future and that these bears don't possess the genetic diversity required to adapt on their own, according to the New York Times.

Jurisdiction over the Yellowstone grizzly bears will be given to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming before the end of July. The states' management will be monitored by the U.S. government for a five-year period after the de-listing.

The New York Times highlighted that many people find hunting of the highly intelligent grizzly bears "disturbing." Research and study over the past decades increasingly affirms that the animals are smarter than humans previously realized.