Only five of the recovery zones are currently inhabited by grizzlies. While a grizzly bear was accidentally killed by a black bear hunter in the Bitterroot Ecosystem (the largest wildland expanse south of the Canada border) in September 2007, there has been no verifiable evidence that grizzlies permanently reside there. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes: “As the Service noted in a draft

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in July 1997, grizzly recovery in this ecosystem will require the reintroduction of bears from other areas. The Service proposed such reintroduction as its preferred alternative in the draft EIS; the final EIS was released in March 2000, with the Service’s final decision following in 30-90 days. Any reintroduction would depend on funding. In June 2001 the Service proposed to withdraw the plan to reintroduce grizzly bears into the Bitterroot system. Public comment was received and no final decision has been made.”

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (northwestern Wyoming, eastern Idaho, southwestern Montana) – est. 600+ grizzlies*

Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (areas including Glacier National Park, the Swan Valley, and Bob Marshall and Mission Mountain Wilderness Areas of Montana) – est. 675 grizzlies

Cabinet-Yaak/Purcell Ecosystem (southern British Columbia, northwestern Montana) – est. 40 grizzlies (south of Canada border)*

Selkirk Ecosystem (Idaho panhandle) – est. 40 grizzlies*

Bitterroot Ecosystem launches to an external site (northern Idaho and western Montana) – est. 0 grizzlies*

North Cascades Ecosystem launches to an external site (north-central Washington) – est. 5-10 grizzlies*

+U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
† U.S. Geological Survey