"Grizzly Bear Decline Alarms Conservationists in Canada"

"First it was the giant panda, then the polar bear, now it seems that the grizzly bear is the latest species to face impending disaster.

A furious row has erupted in Canada with conservationists desperately lobbying the government to suspend the annual bear-hunting season following reports of a sudden drop in the numbers of wild bears spotted on salmon streams and key coastal areas where they would normally be feeding.

The government has promised to order a count of bears, but not until after this year's autumn trophy hunts have taken place. It has enraged ecology groups which say that a dearth of salmon stocks may be responsible for many bears starving in their dens during hibernation. The female grizzlies have their cubs during winter after gorging themselves in September on the fish fats that sustain them through the following months."

Tracy McVeigh reports for the UK Observer September 20, 2009.

Source: Guardian, 09/21/2009