PINEDALE, Wyo. — A Wyoming game official says the population of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park region is off by about 40 percent.
Wyoming Game and Fish Deputy Director John Emmerich said there's at least 1,000 grizzlies in the region, 400 more than the official grizzly bear estimate of 600.
Emmerich told a state legislative committee last week that a more detailed study is needed if state officials hope to get the bear removed from the endangered species list. Such a study would include DNA testing of hair throughout the tri-state Yellowstone ecosystem and would cost about $12.9 million.
Emmerich says a more accurate grizzly bear count may not lead to its removal from the endangered list. He says a 2009 court ruling protects the bear.