Wildlife

Recent Posts

Woman injured by Yellowstone bison while taking photos

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 43-year-old woman from Mississippi received minor injuries Tuesday when she turned her back on a bison to pose for a photo with it near the Fairy Falls trailhead in Yellowstone National Park. She is the fifth person injured after approaching bison this season. The woman and her daughter were by the trailhead sign when they decided to take a picture with a bison that was approximately 6 yards away from them near the trail. When they turned their backs to the bison to take the picture, someone warned that they were too close Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Plague vaccine may help ferrets bounce back from brink

A black-footed ferret chases a prairie dog, which typically makes up more than 90 percent of the ferret's diet.

For the past 15 years, Tonie Rocke and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin have been working to develop a plague vaccine for prairie dogs, which could also benefit ferrets and other wildlife. Field testing is ongoing at 29 prairie dog sites across the country, including the Pitchfork Ranch, which Rocke visited for the first time last week. "Plague is by far the biggest threat to black-footed ferrets," said Rocke, who works in Madison, Wis. at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center. Ferrets can be infected with plague by eating diseased prairie dogs, or by being bitten by fleas carried by prairie dogs. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

2 more Yellowstone visitors injured by bison

The National Park Service issues bright yellow flyers warning of bison gorings to every Yellowstone National Park visitor at entry. (NPS image - click to enlarge)

In recent separate incidents, two people were injured after getting too close to bison, bringing the total to four injured so far this summer in bison encounters. The first of the two recent encounters occurred on June 23 when an off-duty concession employee came upon a bison while walking off trail after dark in the Lower Geyser Basin area. The second incident occurred July 1, when a visitor encountered a bison while hiking the Storm Point trail in the Yellowstone Lake area. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , ,