Because of the grizzly’s need for extensive home range and need for wild land, undisturbed denning habitat, and abundant native berry crops and prey—from grubs and ground squirrels to deer and elk—the condition of a grizzly population is one of nature’s barometers of a healthy and complete ecosystem.

Today, approximately 1,800 grizzlies remain in the Lower 48 states and along the Canada border just north of Idaho and Montana. These grizzlies are refugees of a long history of persecution and the sweep of settlement and development that consumed 98 percent of the bear’s historic range in the conterminous states. Map courtesy Sightline Institute.