Alberta’s declining grizzly bears, how low can we aim for species protection?

Alberta’s declining grizzly bears, how low can we aim for species protection?


It took eight years and a lot of public pressure from the time the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee (AESCC) recommended the grizzly bear be listed as threatened in 2002 to the species’ designation as threatened under the Wildlife Act earlier this year.
The future of Alberta grizzlies depends on the management goals we set for them, and whether they are ecologically defensible.  A recent report by environmental groups suggests that with adequate recovery actions, Alberta can sustain a population recovered to between 1700 and 2100 animals.  The current maximum population that is possible under existing recovery plans is estimated at 1100, which will ensure that grizzlies remain at best threatened in Alberta in perpetuity.  Designation of the grizzly as threatened sadly does not change this situation under existing non-binding provisions of the Alberta Wildlife Act, nor does designation as threatened make that recovery plan enforceable.
Read “Alberta’s declining grizzly bears, how low can we aim for species protection?” on the ELC blog.



The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
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