Wildlife

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Study: grizzly bears can adapt diet to changing climate

A grizzly bear digs in wet dirt near Cub Creek in Yellowstone Na

For years, many conservationists have worried what grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem will eat as changing climate and habitat conditions bring fewer whitebark pine nuts, cutthroat trout and other prime food sources. A recent study offers an answer: almost anything else. Research by several state and federal wildlife biologists found that grizzlies across the Yellowstone area eat a total of 266 different species of plants and animals, and display an amazingly adaptable diet that ranges from moths to algae. Continue Reading →

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Photographers sue to stop Grand Teton elk hunt

elk-front

Two Teton County photographers filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Monday seeking to stop the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Tim Mayo and Kent Nelson, operating as Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, target the “elk reduction program,” in which hunters killed 202 elk last year. The hunt also resulted in the shooting of a grizzly bear, a federally protected species, in 2012. The suit goes beyond hunting alone, challenging supplemental winter elk feeding on the nearby National Elk Refuge. The hunt violates a slew of federal laws, the suit claims, including the Grand Teton Act, the National Park Organic Act, the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Continue Reading →

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Grizzly management meeting set for Oct. 29 in Bozeman

The Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee will hold its fall meeting in Bozeman, Montana on October 29, 2014 and the public is invited to attend. A multiagency organization charged with recovery of the grizzly in the Yellowstone ecosystem, YES is part of the IGBC, which is responsible for grizzly bear recovery in the contiguous United States and adjoining Canadian Provinces. YES is made up of federal, state, county, and tribal agency partners. Continue Reading →

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Elk hunt set to begin in Grand Teton

A seasonal elk hunt is set to begin in Grand Teton National Park.

Elk hunting is set to begin Saturday in Grand Teton National Park, and one area of the park where hunting was previously allowed will remain closed to hunters following violent conflicts there with grizzly bears in recent years. In 2011 a hunter was mauled by a grizzly bear, and in 2012 a grizzly was fatally shot when it charged three elk hunters. No charges were filed in that case after investigators determined the hunters acted appropriately in self-defense. In both cases, the bears were found to be protecting elk carcasses which they had been feeding on. The area where both incidents happened—a section of the Snake River bottom between the Deadman’s Bar river access road and Ditch Creek—will be closed during future hunts. Continue Reading →

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Montana seeks public comment on bison quarantine plan

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment proposing the relocation of 145 brucellosis-free bison to create or augment existing wild bison herds. The wild bison were part of the Bison Quarantine Feasibility Study, a research project that began in 2004 directed by FWP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Continue Reading →

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Ruling places Wyoming wolves back under federal control

A male wolf from the Canyon pack in Yellowstone National Park watches for bison.

Hunting gray wolves in Wyoming as trophy game or shooting them as predators has been banned under a ruling Tuesday by a federal judge that places the animals back under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington D.C. struck down a 2012 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming and place their management under control of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone invites visitors to take part in Hayden Valley Hawk Watch

Celebrate the spectacle of raptor migration in Yellowstone National Park’s Hayden Valley this Sunday, September 21. Join education ranger and raptor enthusiast Katy Duffy to watch and learn about raptors, their ecology, and their migration strategies. If visitors would like to learn some raptor identification tips, they may begin the day with Duffy at 9 a.m. at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center for a 45-minute presentation involving the mounted raptors on display there. Continue Reading →

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Electric fence program helps avoid Yellowstone area bear conflicts

P.J. Schneider, left, and dog dexter take a break while installing an electric fence last month with Russ Talmo. Defenders of wildilfe helped Schneider with cost-sharing and tehnical expertise on the project at a ranch southwest of Cody, Wyo. where chickens and goats could attract grizzly bears.

As the long, hot days of summer give way to cooler fall weather, bears across the greater Yellowstone area begin to binge on every available food source in preparation for winter hibernation. That typically brings increased conflicts with people, as bears become single-minded in their pursuit of calories, pushing into more populated areas and spending more of their time searching for a meal. Which is one reason why P.J. Schneider, 15, was busy last month installing an electric fence around a pen and small shed where he keeps 14 chickens and three goats. Continue Reading →

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Visitors cautioned as elk rut begins in Yellowstone

An elk snoozes while another grazes on a lawn in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

Placid elk lounging around the lawns of Mammoth Hot Springs are a favorite attraction for Yellowstone National Park visitors. But the start of the fall rut means bull elk are much more aggressive toward both people and vehicles. Several vehicles are damaged by elk every year and occasionally people are charged by elk and can be injured. Visitors and residents are asked to use caution when walking near elk and to look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots. Continue Reading →

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