migration

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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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Wyoming pronghorn acclimating to wildlife overpasses during fall migration

Pronghorn moving to and from the southern end of Grand Teton National Park appear to be adapting well to wildlife overpasses designed to alleviate a dangerous and long-standing bottleneck in their lengthy seasonal migrations. Sometimes referred to as pronghorn antelope, the swift and elusive animals have long been hampered by a difficult highway crossing at Trapper's Point, near Pinedale, Wyo., along part of their migration route that spans more than 100 miles. Continue Reading →

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Elk migration project wins Camp Monaco prize for biodiversity research, education

An elk pauses in the light of dawn near Sylvan Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

The path to completion for many research and education proposals is often complex and baffling, and a new project to study and document elk migrations around Yellowstone National Park is no exception. It has connections with the most famous man in the world, touches on the inspirational story of a rotting whale and finds fruition through a century-old family legacy involving European royalty. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton wildlife on the move during annual spring migration

With the arrival of spring weather, warmer temperatures and the first shoots of green grass, animals are on the move from their winter ranges to their summer haunts in Grand Teton National Park. Herds of elk recently moved off the National Elk Refuge and fanned out across the sagebrush flats, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Spring migration sees wildlife on roads around Yellowstone and Grand Teton

A trio of bison make their way along a highway near Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Motorists across the greater Yellowstone area should expect to see more wildlife than usual on roads over the next few weeks, as warm weather and new grass have animals on the move as part of their annual spring migration patterns. Elk, bison and other large mammals are beginning their trek from winter range back to summer pastures, and it's not uncommon for them to cross highways in large numbers. Wildlife may even to use roads as travel corridors, particularly in places where deep snow drifts or plowed snow prevents easy use of alternate routes. Continue Reading →

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