Grizzly bears are often used as an umbrella species. Their need for large wild spaces where they are secure from threats such as roads and development means that when grizzly bear populations are healthy, their habitat also protects about 80 per cent of other species that live in the same region.
More than 100,000 grizzly bears once roamed Western North America. By the 1920s, only island populations were left in the U.S. Now, 90 years later, all those island populations are gone but one: the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (the isolated red dot on the map).
The Yellowstone to Yukon region, Alaska and portions of Canada’s Northwest Territories are the final homelands for North America’s grizzly population.
Keeping the Yellowstone to Yukon region wild and connected will help ensure we do not lose more grizzly populations, and therefore other species as well.