Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to be taken off Endangered Species list. Thanks, Trump


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/22/trump-hates-bears.html


#2

The reason? A reported population rebound.


#3

There fixed that for you…


#4

How would you know if this was the right decision? The EPA is not stuffed top-to-bottom with Trump fanatics yet, it’s just possible this was decided by somebody who even likes bears. Or is this a case where only an asshole would read the rest of the story?


#5

What is this? So Trumps douchebag son can shoot a bear?


#6

That’s something I’m a bit confused about. Is there not like, an actual definition of an endangered species? Like, a population number or some formula that takes into account the breeding time for a species or something? Or is it just that we arbitrary put on and take off animals from the list?


#7

I cannot see how Trump can be credited with the population recovery of the Yellowstone Grizzly.


#8

The only grizzly bears left in California are in zoos and on our flag. If Yellowstone has bears to spare maybe they could airlift a few into the Sierras just to make things more interesting.


#9

“Something something little hands something bear fucker.”

The jokes almost write themselves.


#10

Is there not like, an actual definition of an endangered species?

A species on the list.

Like, a population number or some formula that takes into account the breeding time for a species or something?

There was a time when the people responsible for drafting that list consulted with reality, yes.

Or is it just that we arbitrary put on and take off animals from the list?

That sums up the Executive Branch nicely, thank you.


#11

FTFY  


#12

Here is the press release.

https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ref=secretary-zinke-announces-delisting-of-yellowstone-grizzly-bear-&_ID=36059


#13

I hope they don’t break their own arms, patting themselves on the backs like that!

700 bears! That’s… not really very many bears. I’m glad for the progress made under the previously operating policies.


#14

I think the metrics include habitat size and availability of their diet. 700 squirrels would be nothing in 1000 acres. I am not a bear expert, but when we talk about healthy populations of animals, there is usually an ideal number of acres per animal, specific to the animal and habitat. Also minimum numbers in a breeding population to maintain genetic diversity.
But we are talking about Yellowstone-area grizzlies. There are 30,000 of them in Alaska.


#15

There are not 30,000 Yellowstone Grizzlies in Alaska. There are 30,000 bears with the same genus and species there, which can probably interbreed with Yellowstone grizzlies, but bears from one area would not thrive in the other. They’re not interchangeable. People who do this work used to be consulted on these things so that relevant nuance bypassed by the well knowing isn’t casually accepted as fact. Not that anyone here would ever do such a thing.

Much as we aren’t Homo sapiens idaltu, (much as I’d like to argue that some of us are it would be disingenuous of me to do so )(But we could probably have bred with them (or did)). They’re just not the same bears.


#16

Well, are they not endangered any more? If not, they shouldn’t be on the list.

I don’t know nearly enough about these things to know whether they’re in fact endangered or not, but it stands to reason that species out of danger should be delisted. Why else have a process in the law for delisting them?


#17

My understanding is that except for the population on Kodiak island, they all share genus, species, and subspecies. I did not say that they were interchangeable. It is true that none of the Alaska Grizzly population are Yellowstone Grizzlies. But they are all Ursus Arctos Horribilis.
https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=202385#null

As far as I can tell, the big taxonomic debate is whether the Coastal U. a. gyas are a separate subspecies than the inland U. a. Horribilis. But there does not seem to be such a debate about the Alaska,Yellowstone, North Cascade, Selkirk/Cabinet Yaak, Northern Divide, or Bitterroot U. a. Horribilis populations, which have not been isolated from each other long enough to have differentiated measurably.

You can read URSUS on Jstor, if you have an account.

But if someone has better data, I would enjoy reading it. We have lots of bears here, but no grizzlies. My Dad hunted bear when he was young, but we no longer hunt them, or allow others to do so on our land.


#18

Who wants a bald eagle as a national symbol. They’re BALD for Chris sake. All the macho countries have bears as their national symbol like…


#19

Actually, it’s not a matter of opinion, although the standards are somewhat subjective.


#20

Sort of. I’ve been an author on some endangered species work. Ultimately, it does come down, like @AcerPlatanoides said, to a species on the list. In more rational times, it was a determination made using actual science: is their habitat threatened, are they facing external threats (like pesticide or hunting), does molecular genetics support this animal as distinct from other animals, does morphology support this animal as distinct from other animals, does habitat or diet specificity make it hard for this animal to move from where it is, has the population recently shrunk? @Boundegar’s link is great.

A lot of questions. If an animal meets 4 questions, is it worth protecting? What about 3? These debates still happened, but they took place using science, as opposed to “We’d like to strip mine Yellowstone, what’s standing in the way?” And that’s the scary thing: No one was ever 100% pleased with ESA protections. But they often do work, and rigorous debate among stakeholders is part of the reason why. I lived for a long time in TX, where the Barton Springs salamander stopped developers from paving Barton Springs and Zilker Park. Both humans and salamanders benefited! But now we have this president who doesn’t respect science, or government, or process. This country will be a toxic waste pit sooner rather than later.