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Idaho Fish and Game

Partnership to Manage Yellowstone Carnivores

A partnership has been crafted to help manage the large carnivores that roam the Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Wildlife Conservation Society have pooled resources to allow wildlife biologist Bryan Aber, who has been working in the ecosystem for years with the Forest Service, to focus all of his time on working with these large carnivores that are repopulating the Yellowstone Ecosystem. It is no secret that at least two of these species, the gray wolf and the grizzly bear have been the focus of a great deal of political discussion over the last few years and interest in wolverines continues to grow. These animals originally occupied the Yellowstone Ecosystem in greater numbers before the settling of Idaho as a state, and as they repopulate they are finding they must now share the land with humans. The goal of this newly created position is to reduce the potential for conflicts with humans and also to do so in a manner that adds to the scientific knowledge for all three species. Because this position is just as much about dealing with people as it is about managing some of our largest native carnivores, picking the professional with the right blend of experiences was critical. "Bryan (Aber) has a long history of working in the Island Park Area; he knows the landscape, the people and the issues," Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Manager Daryl Meints said. "His knowledge will be invaluable in his new role." The position is unique because it will allow a biologist to work year-round with these three species without adding a new full-time position to any of the entities involved. Salaries, benefits and operating costs have been spread among the three partners in such a way to satisfy the requirements of each one. Because the Wildlife Conservation Society is a non-governmental organization it operates differently from a government agency. "Over the years (Aber) has developed an excellent working relationship with both NGOs and government agencies," Meints said. In the past, Aber has collaborated on projects with organizations, such as the Defenders of Wildlife, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and the Boy Scouts of America. Aber will manage the animals, and he will work with local city and county governments to help prevent conflicts as populations of humans and animals continue to expand. While the task at hand may be daunting, the commitment already made by the three partners shows how important it is to them to manage these large carnivores of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. To contact Aber about management of wolves, grizzly bears or wolverines in the Upper Snake Region call 208-558-7301 or e-mail