Wildlife

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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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Grand Teton motorists warned to slow down during big game migration

Elk and other wildlife are moving along spring migration routes around Grand Teton National Park and nearby areas.

Wildlife have begun their annual migration from wintering areas toward summer ranges located in Grand Teton National Park. Because spring migration appears to be fully underway, motorists are advised to drive with extra caution during the coming weeks, and be alert for animals wandering near park roadways, especially Highway 26/89/191 (Hwy 89) and the Antelope Flats/Kelly scenic loop roads. Early this week, elk started to drift north from the National Elk Refuge. With the receding snowpack, elk have fanned out across the sagebrush flats north of the Gros Ventre River. Continue Reading →

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Pneumonia kills dozens of bighorn sheep north of Yellowstone Park

Wildlife officials in Montana are concerned about a pneumonia outbreak killing bighorn sheep near the North Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife officials in Montana remain concerned about an ongoing pneumonia outbreak among bighorn sheep near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, and have canceled the lone permit that would have been issued for a fall sheep hunt in the area. The move came after wildlife biologists conducted an aerial survey Sunday of the area near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone's North Gate. After counting 89 healthy sheep last year, Sunday's count yielded 55 sheep, as well as another dead animal and a number of sick ones. Continue Reading →

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Public input sought for Yellowstone bison management plan

A bison stands near road signs in downtown Gardiner, Mont. in January 2006. (Jim Peaco/NPS - click to enlarge)

The National Park Service and the State of Montana will begin preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for a new plan to manage a wild and migratory populations of Yellowstone-area bison, while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and livestock to the extent practicable. A Notice of Intent has been published in the Federal Register. The new plan is needed because conditions have changed since implementation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan began in 2001, including agency experience in managing bison and new science. Continue Reading →

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Plan aims to restore native trout to protected creek east of Yellowstone

Wildlife officials are working to restore native fish species like Yellowstone cutthroat trout to waters across the region/

Efforts to restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout have made headlines in recent years, with a focus on reducing invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park. But a new front in the war against non-native trout could be developing just east of the park next year, if the Wyoming Game and Fish Department moves forward with a plan to create a safe harbor for Yellowstone cutthroats in the Shoshone National Forest. Continue Reading →

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Video captures Yellowstone bison ramming parked vehicle

A video screen capture shows a bison in Yellowstone National Park as it rams a parked vehicle in the Lamar Valley.

Two frequent visitors to Yellowstone National Park ended up on the losing end of a close encounter with a lumbering bison last month when the agitated beast rammed their parked sport utility vehicle. The unexpected collision was captured on video, and the footage has gone viral, as it shows the amazing power of Yellowstone's 2,000-pound behemoths. Continue Reading →

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Warm weather prompts Yellowstone area bears out of hibernation early

Unseasonably warm winter temperatures may be the reason behind bear activity in Yellowstone National Park, as February temperatures have hovered near record highs across the region. The first confirmed report of grizzly bear activity in Yellowstone occurred Monday, when a grizzly bear was observed late in the afternoon, scavenging on a bison carcass in the central portion of the Yellowstone. Continue Reading →

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Thermal imaging offers high-tech look at disease among Yellowstone wolves

Thermal imaging reveals a bright blue patch near the shoulder of a captive wolf, whose fur was shaved to simulate the effects of sarcoptic mange.

A high-tech method for detecting disease in domestic cattle is helping researchers in Yellowstone National Park learn more about how sarcoptic mange effects gray wolf survival and behavior during the park's long, cold winters. For Paul Cross, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, a moment of insight came when he learned how thermal imaging was used in the cattle industry to detect cows infected with foot-and-mouth disease. The heat-sensitive cameras can pick up on the heat caused by related inflammation in a cow's hoof within a day or two of contracting the disease. Heat-sensing videocameras could help show the metabolic costs of mange in specific wolves, Ross realized. Continue Reading →

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