Yellowstone grizzly bears are back on the endangered list and spared from a planned hunt

(CNN) — The grizzly bears of Yellowstone National Park will be spared from a proposed trophy hunt, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge.

The ruling, filed Monday, effectively places the Greater Yellowstone grizzly — the grizzly population native to areas around the park — back on the Endangered Species list, which means they will receive special protections. It will also spare the bears from a planned hunt in Wyoming and Idaho this fall.

Yellowstone National Park’s Steamboat Geyser erupted for the eighth time this year and scientists don’t know why. Its last eruption before this year happened in 2014.

“This Court’s review, constrained by the Constitution and the laws enacted by Congress, is limited to answering a yes-or-no question: Did the United States Fish and Wildlife Service…exceed its legal authority when it delisted the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear?”

After the bears were taken off the list last year, Wyoming and Idaho approved plans to allow hunters, with a permit, to hunt the bears in the fall of 2018. It would have been the first hunt of its kind in more than 40 years.

The bottom line, according to the ruling, is that the bears belong on the Endangered Species list and are entitled to protections and conservation efforts, and the USFWS “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in removing them from the list.

“By delisting the Greater Yellowstone grizzly without analyzing how delisting would affect the remaining members of the lower-48 grizzly designation, the Service failed to consider how reduced protections in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem would impact the other grizzly populations.”

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