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How Many Grizzly Bears are in Yellowstone?

If you’re gearing up for a trip to Yellowstone National Park, the prospect of witnessing a bear in its natural habitat might be high on your agenda. Yellowstone hosts two bear species: grizzly bears and black bears.

Of the two, black bears are more prevalent, making grizzly bear sighting less common. However, it’s noteworthy that there are approximately 55,000 grizzly bears spread across the United States. These bears can be encountered in five states:

  • Alaska
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Wyoming

Let’s delve into the estimated population of grizzly bears in each state:

  • Alaska: Around 30,000
  • Washington: Approximately 500
  • Idaho: About 100
  • Montana: Roughly 2,000
  • Wyoming: Around 600

Notably, you have the opportunity to observe grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Naturally, you might wonder about the specific grizzly bear population within the park.

Grizzly bear numbers were once substantially higher, but their populations faced a decline. In 1975, a mere 136 grizzly bears were present in Yellowstone, pushing these magnificent creatures close to the brink of extinction. The implementation of the Endangered Species Act contributed to population resurgence.

By 2016, the area saw a rebound to approximately 700 bears. Until that year, six ecosystems across the United States were set aside for grizzlies, including the Greater Yellowstone National Park. However, the Greater Yellowstone region was delisted from the endangered species list in 2016 due to stabilized bear populations. This shift can be attributed to robust conservation efforts that have significantly safeguarded these mammals. Notably, the number of grizzly bear cubs born annually has remained consistent since 1996, with births surpassing deaths. Females, capable of producing 3 to 4 cubs per year, have spurred this remarkable growth, potentially leading the park to its carrying capacity for grizzly bears.

Presently, the estimated grizzly bear count in the greater Yellowstone area exceeds 1,000, with 150 to 200 of these bears residing partially within the park’s boundaries. These bears occupy a range spanning around 22,500 square miles.

Prime Locations for Grizzly Bear Sightings

If your goal is to spot grizzly bears within Yellowstone, the most opportune times are during the night, dawn, and dusk when these animals are most active. Open meadows, especially just after sunrise and before sunset, are common areas to observe these creatures.

Key locations for grizzly bear sightings include Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, Swan Lake Flats, Dunraven Pass, and Gardiners Hole. Additionally, the East Entrance of the park hosts grizzlies in the wet meadows.

Contact Us Today

While grizzly bears are rarer compared to black bears, you have the chance to encounter both species in Yellowstone. Another option for experiencing these awe-inspiring animals is Yellowstone Bear World. Plan your visit today and marvel at a diverse array of wildlife up close. With our daily operating hours, you can conveniently immerse yourself in this exciting adventure. To delve into more details about our captivating park, feel free to call us at (208) 359-9688 or connect with us online.

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