Wildlife

Possible Wolf Spotted in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park officials, who just recently announced a program to reduce elk numbers in their park, might get some help from nature. Officials say a black-colored canine spotted on December 4 possibly was a wolf.

Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated

Rocky Mountain National Park officials have decided to use a variety of adaptive management tools, including "lethal reduction" and birth control, to manage elk inside their park. The plan could take effect as soon as January.

Olympic National Park Could Begin Fisher Recovery Program this Fall

Completion of an environmental assessment into the question of returning fishers to Olympic National Park has cleared the way for a recovery program to begin, possibly before year's end.

Watching Wolves in Yellowstone National Park

Wolves seem to have a magnetic attraction on humans, at least the wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Wolf-related tourism has soared in the park since the wolf recovery program was launched in 1995, and it continues throughout the year.

Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?

In the wake of the uproar over hunting brown bears in Katmai National Preserve, does anyone care that Cape Cod National Seashore officials have cleared the way for pheasant or turkey hunts? Or is it only hunts involving charismatic mega-fauna that draw ire?

Groups Sue Cape Hatteras National Seashore Over ORV Traffic

Southern Environmental Law Center photo.
Back in July I predicted that the managers of Cape Hatteras National Seashore would be sued for allowing off-road vehicles to navigate the seashore without a valid ORV management plan in place. Well, that lawsuit has arrived in court.

2008 Marks 50 Years of Wolf, Moose Studies At Isle Royale National Park

Michigan Technology University Photo.
I've long wanted to visit Isle Royale National Park. The mix of rock and forest surrounded by Lake Superior has intrigued me for many years, as has the park's resident wolf and moose populations.

Yellowstone Bison Population Healthy; Montana Priming For Hunts

Yellowstone Bison in Winter; 'GGeter' via Flickr
The bison herd in Yellowstone National Park is doing quite well, thank you very much. According to the summer count, there are nearly 5,000 bison in the park. Up in Montana, meanwhile, state officials are already planning this winter's bison hunt just north of Yellowstone.

Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt

Brown Bear in Katmai Preserve; Daniel Zatz photographer.
The Katmai bear video has been one of the most-viewed posts on National Parks Traveler, being watched more than 4,000 times in less than a week. It has generated anguish, anger and controversy. Against this backdrop, Alaska Regional Director Marcia Blaszak has taken a moment to explain the Park Service's viewpoint of how to manage the bear hunt in Katmai National Preserve.

Katmai Bear Hunt: Outfitter Says It's No Walk in the Woods

Scott Dickerson photo.
An outfitter whose clients at close range gunned down brown bears in Katmai National Preserve contends the hunt is not akin to "shooting fish in a barrel." And Jim Hamilton claims those who filmed portions of the hunt ruined the hunters' experience.

Dry Conditions Blamed For Bear Problems in Grand Teton, Yosemite

Unseasonably dry conditions are believed to be behind bear problems in both Grand Teton and Yosemite national parks this year, according to officials in those parks.

Grand Teton Puts Down Another Bear

It's beginning to sound like open season for black bears in Grand Teton National Park. For the third time in less than a month rangers have killed a black bear that had grown too accustomed to tying humans to food. This time the bear was a 60-pound male.

Olympic National Park Releases Environmental Assessment on Fisher Recovery

A cat-sized carnivore long missing from the forests of Olympic National Park could soon be roaming the park under a plan drawn up to return the animal to one of its native haunts.

Another Black Bear in Grand Teton Put Down

Grand Teton National Park officials have had to kill another black bear that had become accustomed to linking humans with food. This is the second bear in less than a week that park officials killed because it had become habituated to human food.

Landscape, Not Wolf Numbers, Govern Wolf Hunts in Yellowstone

With Yellowstone's healthy wolf population, you might think that elk, their main prey, would be on the dinner menu pretty much anywhere in the park. However, a University of Alberta wildlife biologist says topography, not wolf distribution, governs elk predation by wolves.

Grand Teton Bears, Update

I recently was wondering how many citations Grand Teton National Park rangers have handed out to folks for either feeding bears or making food available to them. Well, so far this year 43 warnings have been written, along with 63 citations.

The Consequences of the Legal Bear Hunt in Katmai

Map of Katmai National Park and nearby Katmai National Preserve
Starting October 1, 2007, the annual fall brown bear hunting season will open for three weeks in Alaska’s Katmai National Preserve. I bet you’re surprised. Brown bear hunting in a national park site?! Yep, here in Alaska national preserves are just like national parks with one exception: sport hunting is allowed. For three weeks in the Fall, hunters may take as many bears as they want.
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Mountain Lion Kittens Collared in Grand Canyon

When I think of wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park, I typically think of condors, lizards, and mules. Mountain lions are not high on the list. But apparently they should be, as park biologists have just placed tagged three five-week-old lion kittens.

Just Another Snake Story

A python by the tail.
Non-native pythons, once thought to be someone's pets, are running amuck in Everglades National Park and other parts of south Florida. In the latest story on this dilemma, from the New York Times, park biologists express amazement over the reptile's diet.

Fishing Restrictions Going Into Place in Yellowstone

This hot and dry summer is taking a toll on fisheries around the West, and in Yellowstone things are getting so dire that officials are implementing restrictions on when you can fish the park's streams. Beginning tomorrow, July 21, a number of streams will be closed to fishing between 2 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the foreseeable future.
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Rocky Mountain Trying to Give Wetlands A Chance Against Elk

With a fence officials in Rocky Mountain National Park are hoping to restore a wetlands that voracious elk have prevented from sprouting in Horseshoe Park.

Ferrets Return to Wind Cave

NPS Biological Barb Muenchau releases ferret at Wind Cave; NPS Photo.
We have had requests to share more 'good news' about the national parks. How about this: 30 years after the last ferret was seen at Wind Cave, the park has returned seven to their native habitat.
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