I’ll admit to being torn on this.
A panel of wildlife officials says it’s time to lift Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.
An Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee spokesman said the panel’s members voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of ending the federal protections.
The committee’s recommendation will now be considered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency could propose a rule by mid-2014 to end protections.
On the one hand, good news: we stabilized the population! On the other hand, that means more grizzly bears, which is a species that is not entirely ready to concede that humanity is higher on the food chain than it is*. I mean, I know, all bears have hair triggers, but grizzlies… well. I guess that if the grizzlies stay where they are, it’ll be all right.
Sorry. I tend to be a species chauvinist, particularly when it’s mine that’s involved. In order:
- Useful animals
- Animals that taste good
- Attractive animals
- Everything else
- Pandas (because, really, the species wants to die)
As you can see, grizzlies are a bit down on the list.
*As opposed to polar bears, which flat-out refuse to admit it. I would say “fortunately for them, they live out on the polar ice cap where there are almost no humans to teach them differently,” except that’s pretty much why polar bears survived as a species and, say, saber-toothed tigers did not. And we killed those SOBs with rocks and pointy sticks.