Grizzly bears once roamed from northern Canada and Alaska all the way into Mexico with a population of 100,000. Today in the United States, grizzly bears outside of Alaska have been eliminated from 99% of their range and have declined in numbers to approximately 1,600. Significant grizzly populations are now restricted to the Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems. Very small populations inhabit the North Cascades of Washington and the Selkirks of Washington and Idaho.
The grizzly bear is not the only bear facing low population numbers and loss of habitat. Of the eight species of bears worldwide, six are either endangered or threatened. In China, giant pandas occupy less than 1% of their former range and number less than 1,200. Populations of sun bears, Asiatic black bears, and sloth bears in Asia are declining rapidly due to human-caused mortality and habitat loss. Some polar bear populations are also declining because of loss of sea ice habitat.