Wildlife

Too Many Deer Has Valley Forge National Historical Park Officials Turning To Sharpshooters

Too many white-tailed deer at Valley Forge National Historical Park has prompted park officials to turn to sharpshooters and birth control to tamp down and maintain a manageable population. However, since park officials have not yet found an acceptable reproductive control agent, sharpshooters will be relied upon the next four years to reduce herd numbers in the park.

Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?

It's fall. There's a crispness in the air, trees are painting the landscape with their colorful leaves, elk are in the rut. And in some national parks, hunters are being dispatched to tamp down those elk populations. Is that the right way to approach wildlife management in the National Park System?

Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10

Hunters -- temporarily deputized as park rangers -- will descend on portions of Grand Teton National Park this coming weekend with hopes of reducing the park's elk population.

Olympic National Park Boosts Stream Flows to Help Salmon, But Might Not Be Enough

Reports on climate change and national parks often mention parks as valuable in helping wildlife species survive by providing environmental sanctuaries of sorts. But a case playing out at Olympic National Park demonstrates how parks might not always be able to provide wildlife with what they need during climatic changes.

Wildlife on the Move: Migrations in the National Parks

As the weather cools and available daylight decreases, many wild animals become restless. They know winter is on the way and they could face months of freezing temperatures and food shortages.

Art in the Park: The Return of the Condor

Stained glass work of condor.
Many of the visitors to Pinnacles National Monument in California hope for a glimpse of a rare California Condor in the wild. Thanks to the park's Artist in Residence program, they can also enjoy a beautiful stained glass depiction of a condor in flight.

Public Invited to See Release of California Condors Into the Wild at Pinnacles National Monument

Condor
The release of some of the rarest birds in the world for their first flights into the wild is scheduled for September 26, 2009, at Pinnacles National Monument. The public is invited to observe the release up to two California condors at the park Saturday morning.

Dog Owner Cited After Pit Bull Attacks a Deer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The requirement to keep dogs on a leash is observed by most—but not all—visitors to national parks. A recent incident in Great Smoky Mountains National Park involving a pit bull and a deer offers a vivid example of one reason for the regulation.

Research Points to Canine Distemper As Cause of Low Wolf Pup Survival in Yellowstone National Park

Canine distemper, not parvovirus, apparently was behind the high wolf pup mortality rates in Yellowstone National Park in 1999, 2005 and 2008, according to new research.

Hundreds of Groups Urge Senate to Invest in Climate Change Legislation That Could Help National Park Wildlife, Natural Resources

Groups as diverse as the Great Old Broads for Wilderness and the Quiet Use Coalition urged the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to pass climate change legislation and a national energy policy that would slow greenhouse warming of the Earth, and called for millions of dollars to be invested in helping wildlife and natural resources cope with climate-change impacts. In all, more than 600 groups signed off on the letter.
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It's a Boy...or Maybe a Girl! Humpback Whale Calf Born at the Only U. S. National Park South of the Equator

Whale and calf.
If you mention whale watching, many people immediately think of prime coastal locations in Alaska, California or New England, but probably not the South Pacific. Biologists at the only U. S. national park south of the equator recently noted the birth of an endangered humpback whale.

Yellowstone National Park's Bison Population Estimated At 3,300 Individuals

The annual summer census of bison in Yellowstone National Park shows there are roughly 3,300 bison in the park's two bison herds, a number that is up a bit from a year earlier but far below the nearly 5,000 bison counted four summers ago.

Creature Feature: Invasives At Biscayne National Park Often Come By Sea

It is at the same time both one of the most striking fish you'll encounter as well as one of the most dangerous to appear in the waters of Biscayne National Park.

What's the Best For Elk In Theodore Roosevelt National Park?

On a recent Monday, as I was hiking near treeline in a quiet part of Rocky Mountain National Park, I rounded a corner to see a gigantic bull elk. He hadn’t seen me, but ran down the open hillside to a creek, where he pawed at the water and thrashed at it with his antlers, sending up silver curves of droplets and a splashing sound through the small valley. He then slowed to drink.

Refuge Watch, A Good Site To Bookmark on Your Browser

While surfing around the 'net the other day I came across a website that's a good one to bookmark in your browser if you're concerned about wildlife and public lands managed for wildlife.

Successful Shorebird Nesting Season Over At Cape Lookout National Seashore

Despite the storms that battered Cape Lookout National Seashore this summer, park officials report that the shorebird nesting season seems to have been successful, with good broods from piping plovers, oystercatchers, terns, and Wilson's plovers.

Yellowstone Park Foundation Campaign Aims to Furnish Bear Boxes in Campgrounds

Some of the most-read stories on the Traveler revolve around bears. Folks seem to love to hear about what bruins are up to, or are outraged when they're killed because they've become problem bears. Well, the Yellowstone Park Foundation is mounting a campaign to help the bears in Yellowstone National Park avoid the temptations of human food.

Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday

deer
What's a manager to do when a park has more deer than the area can support? That's a common dilemma in a growing number of areas, but... in Washington, D.C.? Rock Creek Park is holding a public meeting this week to discuss a deer management plan for that site.

Officials Working to Ensure Recovery Of Endangered Fishes In Upper Colorado River Basin

A longstanding problem for fisheries in the Upper Colorado River Basin is the competing demands for water. It's needed for irrigation, it's needed to generate power, and it's needed, not surprisingly, to sustain fisheries. With drought a frequent visitor to the states of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, how that huge watershed is cooperatively managed is critical for all these demands.

Picnic Area on Blue Ridge Parkway Closed Temporarily Due to Bear Activity

Black bear.
When we think about problems with bears in national parks, areas such as Yellowstone and Yosemite often come to mind, but bruins can be an issue "back East" as well. A picnic area along the Blue Ridge Parkway has been closed temporary to help resolve a bear-people food issue.

Does Ashy Storm Petrel Ruling Imply that Bush-Era “Ignore the Science” Policies are Being Perpetuated at DOI?

Brushing aside scientific evidence that the ashy storm petrel population is in profound decline, the Interior Department has ruled that this seabird doesn’t deserve federal protection. Having expected better from the new administration, disappointed environmentalists think it looks like same-old, same-old at Interior.

Grizzly Yearling At Glacier National Park Died From Lacerated Jugular Vein

A young grizzly that Glacier National Park officials had hoped to send off to a zoo died from a lacerated jugular vein somehow sustained during an attempt to tranquilize the bear, officials said Monday.

Black Bears Racking Up Property Damage In Yosemite National Park

Wanna see a bear? Odds are good that if you hang out in one of Yosemite National Park's parking lots -- particularly the one near legendary Camp 4 -- you'll see one before too long. Just hope you don't spot a bruin breaking into your car.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Wolverines of the Northern Rockies

If ever there was an enduring symbol of the wildness of the Rocky Mountains, it would be the wolverine. While wolves and grizzly bears usually come to mind when talk turns to the Rockies’ animals that conjure images of the wild, the diminutive wolverine possesses a legendary reputation for toughness, resilience, and, some would say, cantankerousness.

Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears

A grizzly sow that had come to view humans as a source of food in Glacier National Park has been killed by rangers, who also accidentally killed one of her yearling cubs when they tried to tranquilize it. The killings Monday brought to a close a long-running effort by park rangers to get the sow and her two cubs to rely on their natural food sources and to avoid backcountry travelers.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Yellow-Legged Frogs of the Sierra Nevada

The mountain yellow-legged frog was once one of the most abundant vertebrates in the Sierra Nevada. The flash of its yellow legs could be seen and the echo of its croaking could be heard across the Sierra’s alpine lakes, even those nestled at 12,000 feet that contain watery habitats typically too cold for amphibians. Unfortunately, that empire began to crumble as long ago as 1850 when non-native trout were first transplanted into some of those lakes to increase fishing opportunities.

Nature Can At Times Be An Equalizer For Predator and Prey, As Evidenced By An Incident in Glacier National Park

Nature can be a great equalizer for predator and prey. That was clearly demonstrated earlier this year in Glacier National Park, where an apparent avalanche swept an attacking mountain lion and its bighorn sheep prey to their deaths. Note: The accompanying images are graphic and might not be appropriate for everyone.

Picking a Lot of Apples This Day Helps Keep the Bears Away in Yosemite National Park

Picking apples at Yosemite.
An orchard loaded with ripe apples is more than many bears can resist, so volunteers will help harvest the crop a little early to reduce temptation in Yosemite National Park. If you're in the park on Monday, August 17, you're welcome to help pick some apples...and keep the bears away.

Volunteers Needed to Help Monitor Sea Turtle Nests at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

If you've got some free time and enjoy walking along a sandy beach with the Atlantic surf pounding the shore, the folks at Cape Hatteras National Seashore have a job for you.

Understanding Mountain Lions at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Gets A Boost From New Lion

Despite its highly urbanized setting, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has a decidedly wild edginess, one that springs from its resident mountain lions.
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