• Range Writing

Carnivore Conflicts

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Wyoming Game & Fish Department personnel responded to 535 large carnivore conflicts in 2019. That’s more than one conflict a day – extraordinary when you consider that black bears and grizzlies spend months in hibernation, so the “season” for conflicts is much shorter.

While 2019 brought more conflicts with black bears than grizzlies, when it came time to paying damage claims, grizzly bear damage payments were 46% of the nearly $1 million paid by the agency in 2019, with 34 claims totaling $646,178.

There were 48 wolf conflicts within WG&F’s jurisdiction, resulting in 27 damage claims totaling just over $200,000.

WG&F tallied 71 mountain lion conflicts, resulting in 20 claims for damages totaling about $87,000.

Although there were 224 black bear conflicts, those resulted in only 15 claims, totaling about $33,000 in compensation from the state wildlife agency.

When you mention the Yellowstone region’s grizzly bear population, most people think of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and the federal parkway that connects the two. But WG&F large carnivore staff report that the grizzly population’s occupied range includes more than 7,000 square miles of private property. That’s more private property within occupied grizzly bear range than the two national parks and parkway combined.

{Images from WG&F}

Learn more about conflicts between carnivores and humans in Cat Urbigkit's book When Man Becomes Prey. Autographed copies can be ordered here.

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