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Latest News on Western Bears

Western populations of black, grizzly, and polar bears continue to make the headlines.

Black bears make the news alot in the fall, largely due to increases in conflicts with humans as the bears try to fatten up for winter. The Associated Press offers recent coverage of bear problems in Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

In Idaho, a grizzly bear was mistaken for a black bear and killed by a hunter from Tennessee. Federal and state wildlife officials said Friday they are investigating the killing of a grizzly bear in north-central Idaho, where the last confirmed sighting of the species was in 1946.

This kind of mistake does occassionally happen (such as when noted booking agent Keith Atcheson reported he had mistakenly taken a grizzly back in May). The interesting news here is that this grizzly was in an area the bears were not believed to inhabit, indicating that grizzlies are re-establishing themselves here naturally. Read more from the Associated Press.

Polar bears, most at risk due to habitat changes brought about by global climate changes, are doing the least well. A report released by the US Geological society is predicting a two-thirds decline in populations within the next 50 years.