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No grizzly hunt, after all

The Alberta government has decided to suspend its annual spring grizzly bear hunt for the first time in five years. Last month, linkurl:we reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23143/ that conservationists had accused the province of hiding DNA data on the health of the grizzly population and stripping a critic of the grizzly hunt of his unofficial position as the "go-to" expert on grizzlies. The government has insisted that it was not withholding DNA data, and was merely

By | March 10, 2006

The Alberta government has decided to suspend its annual spring grizzly bear hunt for the first time in five years. Last month, linkurl:we reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23143/ that conservationists had accused the province of hiding DNA data on the health of the grizzly population and stripping a critic of the grizzly hunt of his unofficial position as the "go-to" expert on grizzlies. The government has insisted that it was not withholding DNA data, and was merely clarifying the various responsibilities for the hunt critic, Gordon Stenhouse -- not stripping him of power. Now, it appears as if the government is taking conservationists? concerns seriously. Along with suspending this year?s hunt, the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, Dave Coutts, has released 2004/2005 DNA census information on grizzlies, mortality data from 2005, a draft Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, and peer reviews of the plan. In lieu of the hunt, officials said they plan to await the analysis of provincial DNA data designed to shed more light on grizzly numbers. "While we pursue better grizzly bear population estimates, Alberta will take the most precautionary approach possible with the spring hunt," Coutts said in a linkurl:statement;http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/bear_management/index.html released last week.

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