By Rebecca Huntington
Jackson, WY – Officials in the Greater Yellowstone Area are looking for a better way to count grizzly bears. During a meeting in Jackson, Wildlife officials discussed what they say is a flawed method for counting grizzlies. They say the current method routinely undercounts females with cubs, and that means the current estimate of 600 bears in the ecosystem is too low. Wyoming Game and Fish's Bill Rudd says it's important to get a more accurate count.
"I think the good news here is that this reevaluation of the rule set and the way that we estimate populations, we believe may produce a higher population estimate, which I think will provide everybody a little more security in terms of knowing that there's plenty of bears on the landscape."
But researchers caution that it's too soon to tell whether or not a new method for making estimates, which is now under development, will actually work.