Wildlife

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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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Grand Teton closure lifted after peregrine falcon chicks take flight

A pair of Grand Teton peregrine falcons nesting in a popular climbing spot had prompted a temporary closure of the area.

A public closure in Grand Teton National Park at Baxter’s Pinnacle and Descent Gully near the mouth of Cascade Canyon was lifted on Saturday, Aug. 16. The area closure went into effect May 6 to protect an active peregrine falcon nest. The adult falcons successfully reared four chicks which have now developed wing feathers and are able to fly. While peregrines can lay up to five eggs, this marks the most young ever fledged at a single nest in Grand Teton National Park. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone manages people instead of grizzlies during bear jams

In Grand Teton National Park just south of Yellowstone, a volunteer wildlife brigade is trained each year to help manage people at bear jams. Both parks' programs run up consideral expense, but a study says roadside bears in Yellowstone bring more than $10 million annually to the regional economy.

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper “The economics of roadside bear viewing.” Continue Reading →

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Researchers trapping grizzly bears in southwest Montana

As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area, the U.S. Geological Survey will be trapping grizzly bears on private land in southwest Montana. Scientific trapping operations will be conducted on private land in the southern Madison Mountains, Montana, according to a statement released by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. The statement did not detail specific areas where trapping will take place. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton climbing spot closed for nesting peregrine falcons

A pair of Grand Teton peregrine falcons nesting in a popular climbing spot had prompted a temporary closure of the area.

A popular climbing spot in Grand Teton National Park is closed to give a pair of nesting peregrine falcons a little extra space and privacy. Baxter’s Pinnacle and its southwest descent gully are currently closed to public entry due to an active peregrine falcon nest. A pair of falcons first established a new nest near Baxter’s Pinnacle in 2011, making this the fourth year that a temporary closure has been levied to protect both climbers and nesting peregrines at this site Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton celebrate Migratory Bird Day

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

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will both be hosting events this month in observance of the 2014 International Migratory Bird Day. Attendees will also have a chance to help conduct bird counts which aid in monitoring and managing wildlife and natural resources in the parks. Continue Reading →

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