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Talk: Recovery of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

May 5, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT

Frank T. van Manen on Rattlesnake Butte in Yellowstone National Park.

The Biology, Science, and Management Behind the Remarkable Recovery of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

By Frank T. van Manen

May 5, 2022

Join us for our May Lunchtime Expedition, The Biology, Science, and Management Behind the Remarkable Recovery of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear, presented by Frank T. van Manen. The in-person talk takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium, with a virtual option available.

If you prefer to join us online, you may register in advance via Zoom webinar: 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. By registering, your e-mail address will be added to our list for updates on upcoming Lunchtime Expedition and Draper After Dark speakers. You can unsubscribe from that list at any time, either by clicking “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of those e-mails or by contacting [email protected].

About the presentation

Few animals symbolize the wildness of the American West more than the grizzly bear. The fate of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region was similar to that of large predator species worldwide, with indiscriminate killing in the 1800s and into the mid-1900s resulting in severe population declines and range contraction. The path to recovery of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population started 50 years ago, at the controversial intersection of science, policy, and public opinion. Concerted and visionary conservation efforts reversed the declining population trends of the late 1970s.

Based on long-term data collected by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), we explore the history, current status, and future of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. These data provide important insights into factors that contributed to the recovery, the resilience of this iconic animal, and the challenges that come with conservation success.

Frank T. van Manen on Rattlesnake Butte in Yellowstone National Park.
Frank T. van Manen on Rattlesnake Butte in Yellowstone National Park.

About the speaker

Frank T. van Manen is a Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Bozeman, Montana. He is the Team Leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), a science consortium of federal, state, and tribal agencies established in 1973 to address research and monitoring needs regarding the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population. Frank earned a MS degree in Biology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 1989 and PhD in Ecology from the University of Tennessee in 1994.

He researched black bears, red wolves, and Florida panthers in the southeastern U.S. during the 1990s and 2000s and moved to Bozeman, Montana, in 2012 to join the IGBST. Frank has collaborated on bear research projects in Ecuador (Andean bears), Sri Lanka (sloth bears), China (giant panda), and Malaysia (sun bears). He was elected President of the International Association for Bear Research and Management from 2007 to 2013 and served on its Executive Council for 15 years.

Upcoming Lunchtime Expeditions

June 2: Drs. Victor E. Camp and Ray Wells, The Case for a Long-Lived and Robust Yellowstone Hotspot
July 7: Can Behavior Help Species Cope with a Changing Climate
August 4: Land Rematriation with Buffalo Restoration is Reconciliation
September 1Bats & Bones: What’s New at the Draper Natural History Museum?
October 6The Costs of Thermoregulatory Behavior: How Are Moose in the Cody Region Coping as Summers Intensify? 
November 3Evidence for Glaciation in the Northwestern Big Horn Basin and the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains
December 1Camps, Kills, and Mountain Landscapes: Records of Bison

Support for the Draper’s Lunchtime Expedition series has been made possible by Sage Creek Ranch and the Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation.


Draper Natural History Museum
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