Frank and John Craighead in front of the Tetons. The twin brothers advanced biology by using radio telemetry to track grizzlies in Yellowstone. Grizzly bears weren't found along the Snake River when the brothers took this picture, but they populate the area today. (Craighead Institute)

Twin brothers Frank and John Craighead launched a 12-year radio-tracking study of Yellowstone area grizzly bears in 1959. Their pioneering work drew national attention to the iconic specie’s plight, and informed the 1975 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to protect grizzlies under the Endangered Species Act.

Last week — nearly 57 years after the Craigheads started counting bears — USFWS described the Yellowstone grizzly population as “recovered” and announced plans to begin removing ESA protections.


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