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.

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Grand Tetons seen from Harriman SP

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Morning in Harriman SP, Idaho

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Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP

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Watching wolves with Rick McIntyre

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Bison watching us watch wolves

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Grey wolves

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Grizzly bear through the scope

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Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

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Timber Camp. Gallatin NF

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Faint grizzly track in the sand with track diagram drawn above

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Themophilic algae, Norris Geyser Basin

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Measuring a grizzly day bed

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