Jurisdiction over estimated 700 bears will pass to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, which will allow limited hunts as long as total number stays above 600

Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone national park area will be lifted this summer after US government officials ruled Thursday that the population is no longer threatened.

Grizzlies in all continental US states except Alaska have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1975, when just 136 bears roamed in and around Yellowstone. There are now an estimated 700 grizzlies in the area that includes north-western Wyoming, south-western Montana and eastern Idaho, leading the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the population has recovered.

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