Endangered Species
Mountain-Prairie Region

Grizzly Bear Recovery

Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem

grizzly bear

Grizzly bears were listed as a threatened species in 1975 in the conterminous 48 States.  Currently grizzly bear distribution has been reduced to 5 areas in the western United States, including the Northern Continental Divide in northwestern Montana. The grizzly population in this area includes Glacier National Park and adjacent areas in Canada, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.  This population has approximately 1,000 animals and continues to grow each year.

Recent News:

May 2, 2013 – A draft conservation strategy for grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) is now available for public review and feedback.   This document describes the management and monitoring programs that would be in place if and when this population is delisted from the Endangered Species Act.  These measures are designed to maintain a recovered grizzly bear population in the NCDE.  This document does not change the legal status of this population of grizzly bears.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not sign this conservation strategy or delist this population until agencies demonstrate their commitment to implementing it.   

The Draft NCDE Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy is available below.  Digital or hard copies may also be mailed upon request. 

Public comments may be submitted to the Grizzly Bear Recovery Office at the address below until August 1, 2013.

Attention: NCDE Conservation Strategy
University Hall, Room 309
Missoula, MT 59812

Electronic comments may be submitted to the following email address: NCDECS@fws.gov

On April 18, 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced the initiation of a 5-year review of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) (as listed in the lower 48 States excluding the Greater Yellowstone Area population) and 8 other species (72 FR 19549). We conducted reviews to ensure that our classification of each species as threatened or endangered on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is accurate. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review.

Funding was received in 2003 to begin the process to determine the total number of bears in this ecosystem with statistical confidence.  Additional population monitoring ecosystem wide is necessary to further recovery and any potential delisting. 

More than 17% of this ecosystem is private land and the majority of bear-human conflicts and bear deaths occur on these private lands.  We must continue to work with private landowners to minimize these conflicts.

Tips for Living and Recreating in Grizzly Bear Country

back to Grizzly Bear Recovery homepage

Northern Continental Divide Map

Last updated: January 17, 2017