Jane Goodall Backs the Bears


Jane Goodall Backs the Bears

by Amy Lignor


At the age of 82, Jane Goodall is still standing up for the animals that need to be saved. This widely known, popular woman has a full resume when it comes to the intelligence she owns. British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, Goodall is mostly connected
Tournament of Roses Parade Grand Marshal Dr. Jane Goodall, with her amazing work when it comes to chimpanzees. Work represented in the movies, TV, documentaries, books…Goodall is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on the species after her 55-year study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.


This time out, however, Jane Goodall is speaking on behalf of another species – a species that needs to be saved, yet may just be taken off the endangered list and “hung out to dry.” Fifty-eight scientists and experts who are all highly prominent in their respective fields have gotten together to sign a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, asking them to keep Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone-area grizzly bears.


Montana wildlife officials were the ones who announced hunting regulations for the grizzly; regulations that, if approved, would give permits to both local residents and out-of-state hunters the right to shoot. This plan, of course, can only be implemented if the bears are erased from the Federal Endangered Species list.


The Fish and Wildlife Service does seem to be leaning to the side of allowing the bears to be hunted, stating that the Yellowstone grizzly numbers have “come back.” The species supposedly has recovered, according to them, and federal protection is no longer needed. However, there are many opponents to these facts. Opponents that state rigorously the grizzly is nowhere close to being ready for de-listing, citing that climate change and other human-factors have completely threatened their food sources.


This letter states in no uncertain terms that grizzly bears “face multiple threats,” from the loss of their primary food resources to the fact that their habitats are being lost because of “climate change, drought, invasive species and other anthropogenic causes.”


Among her peers, Jane Goodall delivered a recorded message to the House Natural Resources Committee. The video urged continued protection for the grizzlies, which were a species added to the Endangered Species list back in 1975. Forty years ago, the grizzlies found within the Yellowstone ecosystem numbered less than 150. It was only because of their addition to the list that the number has slowly been able to rise to an average of 700; a number that will fall quickly if the hunter is allowed to start taking them out.


Another expert, wildlife biologist David J. Mattson, was among the signers of the letter and went on to state that the disintegration of whitebark pine trees is at the center of the Yellowstone grizzly battle. The seeds from this tree are a major source of food but climate change is swiftly wiping out the trees and making it even more difficult for the grizzlies to find food. The bears are forced to roam from protected areas in search of food which increases the risk of encountering humans. Yet when asking these “humans” what they thought, officials in the three states that surround Yellowstone have insisted the re-opening of hunting will bring no real harm to the grizzly population. Something, by the way, that is always stated regarding many species (remember the wolf?) and is always wrong.

This is certainly not the first time the de-listing of grizzlies was brought up by the government. In fact, the Fish and Wildlife Service attempted to de-list the bears back in 2007, but environmental groups sued and in 2009, a federal judge ruled that Yellowstone grizzly bears should continue to be protected.

Goodall summed it up best when she said: “If the grizzlies are de-listed and the state opens a hunting season, ‘399’ (a mother grizzly living in Grand Teton National Park) might be shot by a trophy hunter so that her head can be mounted on a wall and her skin laid on the floor for human feet to trample.”


Is that really something that should happen? Public comments are being taken this week in regards to the de-listing of grizzlies in Yellowstone. So ask yourself, how much does the life of the grizzly bear mean?

Source:  Baret News


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