Elk NetworkGrowing Grizzly Population Expands into New Range

General | May 7, 2021

For the first time in recent history, wildlife officials confirmed the presence of grizzly bears in the Big Snowy Mountains of central Montana.

According to the Billings Gazette, a camera set up by a landowner next to a previously dead cow carcass recently captured the grizzly image. Considered one of Montana’s island mountain ranges, the Big Snowies are approximately 100 miles northwest of Billings.

In 2020, biologists confirmed a grizzly about 150 miles to the north near Big Sandy, Montana.

The sightings are the latest evidence of grizzlies expanding their range beyond their traditional haunts along the Rocky Mountain Front and in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently estimated more than 1,000 grizzlies live in the GYE.

The Rocky Mountain Elk foundation. agrees with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that grizzlies there are biologically recovered. RMEF maintains the grizzly population should be delisted and subject to the management of state wildlife agencies that also manage elk, black bears, deer, mountain lions and other wildlife.

(Photo source:  Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)