Wildlife Ecology in the GYE

In August I spent nine days traveling and researching with Ecology Project International in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This area includes the two million acres of Yellowstone National Park, but overall the GYE spans somewhere around 19 million acres. It’s one of the largest intact ecosystems left in existence and home to grizzly bears, elk, pronghorn, bison, sage grouse and most importantly several packs of grey wolves that have established themselves since being reintroduced to the area in the mid 1990s.

Half of the trip we camped in Idaho’s Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and the other half we camped in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest. We helped collect data on grizzly bear habitat use in Harriman State Park for a couple of days and spent a whole separate day watching wolves and grizzly bears within the park, including time spent with lead wolf project volunteer Rick McIntyre. We had workshops on Leave No Trace ethics and fire ecology and geysers and a ton of other activities throughout the week.  It was a wild adventure with a great group of people from all across the U.S.


Grand Tetons seen from Harriman SP


Morning in Harriman SP, Idaho


Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP


Watching wolves with Rick McIntyre


Bison watching us watch wolves


Grey wolves

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Grizzly bear through the scope


Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Timber Camp. Gallatin NF


Faint grizzly track in the sand with track diagram drawn above


Themophilic algae, Norris Geyser Basin


Measuring a grizzly day bed


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