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If endangered animal species are a concern of yours, then grizzly bears may be of particular interest. In the continental United States, the existence of the massive and furry mammals is classified as being in a threatened state. However, Alaska does have a significantly larger population of the big bears.
Grizzly Bear Population in the Past
The population of grizzly bears in the United States has majorly declined since the species' heyday. Around the beginning of the 1800s, approximately 50,000 of the massive bears existed in the United States. Nowadays, the population of the animals is much, much smaller -- a result of a combination of hunting and ruining the bears' natural living environments. In 1975, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service officially declared the species as being "endangered." When a species is considered endangered, it is a sign that extinction in the future may be a very realistic possibility.
In the modern day continental United States, which excludes Alaska and Hawaii, according to the Defenders of Wildlife organization, the total grizzly bear population ranges from approximately 1,000 to 1,200-- a far cry from the sky-high 1800s number. This figure isn't spread out equally throughout the country, either. Grizzly bears only live within five distinct clusters in the United States. A couple of places in which grizzly bears still exist include the Selkirk Mountains in Washington state and Glacier National Park in Montana.
Although grizzly bears are very scarce in the continental United States, they are a lot more common in Alaska. In fact, Alaska is still home to at least 30,000 of the big guys. Hawaii has no grizzly bear population.
Basic Geographic Locales
Grizzly bears can be seen in several United States regions, which are Washington state, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Although outside of America, the bears also live in western regions of Canada. During the past, grizzly bears also could be find in other places, such as Ohio, California and even Mexico. Today, grizzly bears live in distant wilderness regions. The animals utilize solely two percent of the land they traveled throughout history, notes the Conservation Northwest organization.
- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: Grizzly Bear Population Monitoring
- USGS: Grizzly Bear and Black Bear Ecology
- Conservation Northwest: Grizzly Bear History
- Conservation Northwest: North Cascades Grizzly Bear
- Defenders of Wildlife: Grizzly Bear
- Wildlife Conservation Society: Grizzly Bear
- Brown Bear: Endangered Bears
- National Wildlife Federation: Grizzly Bear
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images