The Yellowstone Grizzly Bear will be losing its protected status 42 years after it was put on the Endangered Species List. According to the New York Times, the Yellowstone grizzly bear numbers have grown from little more than 150 to over 700. The decision to remove the species from the endangered list was announced by the Interior Department on Thursday, June 22.

Yellowstone Grizzly will be removed from endangered species list

According to the Washington Post, although the bear’s population has increased over the years, even in some places where it had not been seen for decades, the move to take away the bear’s protected status was long debated.

The Fish and Wildlife Service even attempted to remove the species from the endangered list. However, the federal court ordered a reconsideration of the move as there was a decline in the number of whitebark pines, which is a major food source for the animal. At that juncture, the trees were being damaged by insects due to the rise in the region’s temperature.

Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zilke, stated the decision to lift the protection was taken after long-term efforts to populate the species showed positive results. He further stated that the achievement to populate the Yellowstone bear stands out “as one of America’s great conservation successes” achieved through dedication. However, this decision will in no way interfere with the protected status of other key grizzly bear populations found in the lower 48 states.

Apart from the Yellowstone grizzly, there are other kinds of grizzly’s that live in and around the Glacier National Park of Montana. Their total population goes up to 1000 bears in the region. However, according to experts, this population might soon join the Yellowstone grizzly and lose their protected status. Only small isolated populations of the creature may stay under protective status.

The decree to remove the Yellowstone bear from the endangered list will come into effect 30 days after it has been published in the Federal Register. Nevertheless, conservation groups are already up in arms and have declared to contest the decision in court.

Endangered species list politicized

In some parts of the country, the endangered species list has been highly politicized.

For a long time, Republicans have sought to change a law that was introduced by Senator Rand Paul. According to the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act, congressional approval will be required to add any species to the endangered list and grant them protected status. Apart from that, the bill also proposes to delist a species after five years of the creature being protected status. According to this bill, if a species resides within the borders of a state, then only that state has the authority to manage the creature's protection and not the federal government.