Wildlife

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Second injury from Yellowstone bison in three weeks highlights safety challenges

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park risk injury when allowing bison or other wildlife to approach within 25 yards. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious injuries Tuesday morning after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. The man, whose name was not released by park authorities, is the second visitor in less than three weeks to suffer a serious injury after a close encounter with a bison near Old Faithful geyser. While it is not uncommon for park visitors to be injured by bison or other wildlife, officials from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have commented recently about what they say is a growing challenge in educating international visitors about the danger of wild animals. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone visitor injured by bison

A group of bison graze and rest near the roadside south of Madison in Yellowstone National Park in August 2013.

A girl visiting Yellowstone National Park sustained serious injuries Friday after being gored by a bison. The 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was visiting the Upper Geyser Basin with her host family. While hiking near Old Faithful Geyser, the family joined a group of people watching a bison grazing adjacent to the trail. According to first hand reports, the group was somewhere between three and six feet from the bison. The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison gored her. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone expert weighs in on who wins in a fight: grizzly or gorilla?

Yellowstone National Park biologist Kerry Gunther weighs a bear cub during field research.

If you've ever wondered who would win in a fight—a grizzly bear or gorilla—one expert from Yellowstone National Park advises betting on the grizzly. That's just one of the fun exchanges from a discussion held Wednesday on Twitter where Kerry Gunther, who leads Yellowstone National Park’s bear management program, answered questions as part of an ongoing Ask a Scientist series. Gunther's Q&A was part of a series Yellowstone has hosted via Twitter allowing anyone to pose a question to some of the park's top biologists. Past sessions have featured Rick Wallen discussing bison and Doug Smith talking answering questions about wolves. Continue Reading →

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Black bears on bridge too close for comfort

bear-bridge

The latest viral video out of Yellowstone National Park is a great reminder of why you should stay 100 yards from bears, and exercise special caution around bridges, rivers and other places where moving around gets riskier and more difficult. The video shows a black bear with cubs running around amidst several tourists on a bridge between Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. and Cooke City, Mont. A worker with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks posted the video on YouTube, and it has received more than 220,000 views as of Monday afternoon. Continue Reading →

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Parks celebrate migratory birds with weekend field trips

Sandhill cranes are among the birds participants may see during an annual event to count migratory birds across North America.

Visitors and residents across the region are invited to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in Grand Teton National Parks this Saturday, May 9, and in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, May 17. Observed each year in May to support avian conservation, International Migratory Bird Day serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight—an international conservation program with a goal to reverse dwindling populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that contribute to worldwide declines. Continue Reading →

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Spring Into Yellowstone tours cover wildlife, science and even ‘time travel’

Archaeologist Larry Todd, kneeling, shows dozens of artifacts marked with small flags in the Shoshone National Forest during a July field trip sponsored by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

The Spring Into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival returns next week, offering tours of some of the most scenic and inspiring spots in Yellowstone National Park and public lands to the east of the park. The growing festival is entering its third year, but many of the places highlighted in its tours and events have been popular with wildlife and people for thousands of years. Archaeologist Larry Todd will lead a tour of the Dead Indian Creek campsite area in Sunlight Basin, a favorite spot for modern campers that has been popular with people and animals for centuries. Continue Reading →

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Public warned about grizzly trapping in Grand Teton

A tranquilized grizzly bear lies in a trap similar to those used for research studies or for capturing and relocating problem bears around the greater Yellowstone area.

Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) plan to conduct trapping of grizzly bears within Grand Teton National Park as part of ongoing research efforts required under the Endangered Species Act. The trapping allows researchers to collect data and monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution, as well as their food selection and other activities, is vital to recovery of grizzlies across the GYE. Trapping operations will begin Wednesday, May 6, and continue through June 30, 2015. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone hosts fishery discussions in gateway towns

Dylan Riley fishes the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park in October 2010 while visiting from California. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

Yellowstone National Park staff members will travel to nearby communities next week to talk with anglers about the ongoing efforts to restore native fish species, the threat of aquatic invasive species and the park’s fishing regulations. In addition to the general public, local fly shop employees and fishing guides are encouraged to attend the outreach meetings. Four meetings are planned for the last week in April. Continue Reading →

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Statewide research program tracks Wyoming wildlife migrations

Researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative work with an elk captured in March near Dubois. The animal will be analyzed, collared and released so its movements can be tracked.

Springtime in Wyoming brings melting snow and the first shoots of green vegetation peeking through a landscape left barren by winter. For deer, elk, moose and other migrating ungulates, the change in seasons prompts a familiar journey in search of greener pastures. But spring is also an exceptionally busy time for wildlife researcher Matthew Kauffman and his colleagues, as they fan out across the state in an effort to track and document as many of those migrations as possible. For nearly three years, biologists with the Wyoming Migration Initiative have followed elk around Dubois, trailed moose through the Snowy Mountains, pursued mule deer across the Red Desert and worked to chart the movements of other herds on the move. Continue Reading →

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Researchers offer inside look at wildlife captures

Researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative post images form their work on social media channels.

Wildlife researcher Matthew Kauffman leads the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and works on the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Kauffman and his fellow researchers go to great lengths to share their work via social media outlets, allowing anyone to follow along as they capture and release animals, or go behind the scenes to see the gear, preparation and technology involved in their research. “The idea is to give the public a closer view of how the work is done. The captures and the action that go with them are a pretty exciting part of the research,” he said. “But we’re trying to create a story that people can follow along with and also learn more about the objectives of the studies.” Here are a few selected postings from Twitter showing spring captures that are part of Kauffman’s research. Continue Reading →

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