Rangers in Glacier Bay National Park respond not only to human visitors in trouble, but also to marine life that need help. A recent case of a humpback whale that became entangled in a polyester line demonstrates not only the quick response of park rangers, but also how satellite technology can play a role in saving whales.
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How close did you pay attention to the landscape the last time you went for a hike in a national park? Did you notice the variety of trees or plants, the birds, the insects? Could you tell where there had been a fire or a flood? More subtly, could you see where the nutrient sinks in the ecosystem were? Most of us probably can't answer that last question, but researchers at Isle Royale National Park have uncovered some intriguing contributions to the park's biodiversity.
Wolves have made a remarkable comeback in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since the recovery plan was launched in the mid-1990s. Concerned that the predators will find their way into Washington state, officials there are developing a management plan. But how many wolves are enough wolves?
Lewis and Clark dubbed these animals "speed goats" for good reason, but they're not only sprinters, they're also marathoners. Researchers have discovered these animals make one of the longest overland migrations of any animal in the Western Hemisphere, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is modifying fencing to help them out during their journey.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures visitors with its rumpled, mist-cloaked mountains, its leaping streams, dense forests, and Appalachian history. The thrill of hearing a bull elk's bugle echoing off the mountainsides also is becoming a powerful lure, thanks to an elk recovery program that's developed a healthy herd of the iconic ungulates in the Cataloochee Valley and Oconaluftee areas.
Fuel economy, it seems, is just as important to black bears in Yosemite National Park as it is with many visitors. And so when the bruins shop for fuel, more and more they tend to find themselves munching out in minivans, according to a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy.YOSE-Black_Bears-Minivans.pdf
Not too long ago fisheries experts in the High Sierra realized that if they removed non-native trout from high-elevation lakes, they could boost fragile populations of a small frog that once was widespread throughout the range. Now Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks want to remove trout from slightly more than 80 of the parks' 560 lakes and ponds to give the mountain yellow-legged frog a chance for survival.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Green_Groups-Climate_Change_Funding.pdf
It's a Boy...or Maybe a Girl! Humpback Whale Calf Born at the Only U. S. National Park South of the Equator
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A grizzly bear sow who has no fear of humans, and who seems to be teaching her cubs not to be afraid of them, will be removed from Glacier National Park, Superintendent Chas Cartwright has announced.
Glacier National Park officials have received approval to move forward with a plan to remove non-native lake trout from Quartz Lake. Now the hard work begins.
The effects of climate change have been visible for years in our national parks. Glaciers are disappearing faster than scientists had predicted even a few years ago. Native trees and animals are losing ground because changing temperature and weather patterns are making the availability of food, water and shelter less certain.
A tiny fish, one that lives in a 90-degree hot spring within a limestone cave and whose fate once was pondered by the U.S. Supreme Court, is now the focus of a Death Valley National Park plan designed to help the species avoid extinction.
When last we left the issue of free-roaming bison in Yellowstone National Park, there was controversy over how the animals were being "hazed" back into the park from a place called the Horse Butte Peninsula in Montana. Now the Montana Stockgrowers Association has gone to court to force the hazing to follow a more specific schedule, even though no cattle are grazed on the land in question.
Seven years ago, governments around the world pledged to achieve a "significant reduction" in the ongoing loss of biodiversity by 2010. Unfortunately, the latest IUCN report says that goal will not be met, and that the wildlife crisis is greater than the world's economic crisis.
Peregrine falcons at Acadia National Park have successfully raised six fledglings this spring, and now that the young birds have begun flying from the nest, a park trail that was closed to protect the nest and chicks has reopened.
Two recent bear incidents in national parks in Alaska should send a message to all visitors that they have to be particularly vigilant when traveling in bear country.
Who would have figured the stir that a couple of turtles would generate? I was in Nicaragua in late June working with community rangers who are employees of a non-governmental organization known as Paso Pacífico. I was on a beach observing something I had never seen before, something that hardly anyone gets to witness these days. Two hawksbill turtles had come ashore to nest on the beach that Paso Pacífico’s rangers patrol.
Do you like to scuba dive or snorkel? Can you count? Maybe you'd like to be part of the Great Annual Fish Count at Biscayne National Park in Florida. It will be held on Saturday, July 25.
Sometimes humor is the best approach, wouldn't you agree? That's the approach the folks at Howcast Studios took with their playful video, "How to Avoid a Bear Attack."
Big Cypress National Preserve Proposal Would Greatly Expand Hunting, ORV Use To the Detriment of Florida Panthers
A proposal drafted by planners at Big Cypress National Preserve would greatly expand hunting and off-road vehicle use in the preserve, moves that would pose a "moderate adverse" impact to the endangered Florida panther.
Officials at Joshua Tree National Park in California announced that the Jumbo Rocks Campground has been temporarily closed due a rather unusual wildlife safety problem - swarming bees.