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Nature News
by Marlene Harris

April 2000   —   Canadian Grizzlies to the US?

A plan is in the works to reintroduce Canadian grizzly bears to parts of the United States where the animals have been exterminated. Canadian biologists are however uncertain about the project as they fear the number of grizzlies remaining in Canada is dwindling. The most likely region from which the bears would be taken is in the Kootenay area, in southern BC. Although the population of grizzlies there seems to be stable, researchers are still concerned as numbers are by no means growing; much grizzly habitat has been and continues to be converted and the species, as large mammals everywhere may be destined for the endangered species list.

The reintroduction plan, sponsored by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, would see 25 grizzlies, half from Canada, and half from elsewhere in the US, relocated to the remote Rocky Mountain areas of Montana and Idaho.

No formal request has yet been made by the US for Canadian bears, however it is likely that after the necessary funding for the project is approved this spring, discussions will commence.

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