Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

The vast Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem harbors North America’s most diverse large mammal assemblage. Six ungulate species migrate seasonally from 20-150 miles: elk, mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, moose, and bison. Five large carnivore species prey on these ungulates: grizzly and black bears, wolves, mountain lions, and coyotes. The opportunity to see migratory herds and the carnivores that hunt them – and to harvest some of these species – draws millions of visitors and fuels important economic activity in the region. Yet the GYE has long faced a common conservation problem: its national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton (YNP and GTNP), are too small to fully protect their wildlife year-round. Meanwhile, out on the multiple-use public and private lands that surround the parks, residential and energy development, invasive species, and livestock disease – all compounded by low social tolerance due to human-wildlife conflict – significantly impact populations and their ecological interactions. Some of these conflicts are very costly to people who live in the area. We are interested in understanding the ecology of wide-ranging wildlife in the GYE – particularly those species that roam cross jurisdictional boundaries – and in contributing to management and public understanding wherever possible.

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