Lack of Fish Drives Yellowstone Bears to Elk

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(photo courtesy of the University of Wyoming)
(photo courtesy of the University of Wyoming)

A University of Wyoming researcher has pinned down data that suggests grizzley bears in some parts of the state are eating more elk because illeglly introduced fish have crowded out the cutthroat trout the bears prefer to eat. Arthur Middleton published his report in “Proceedings of the Royal Society B,” which is an international biology journal.

Middleton's research was confined to the geographic area of Yellowstone Lake, where non-native lake trout have wreaked havoc on the cutthroat trout population. The fact that bears are picking off more young elk is now considered to be a contributing factor to the reduced numbers of migratory herds in the greater Yellowstone area.

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