Wildlife Wonders Wilderness Icon 2014

Wildlife, Wonders & Wilderness

The Yellowstone Park Foundation supports projects relating to wildlife, geology, science, ecosystem, and education to preserve Yellowstone's natural resources.

 

Native Fish Conservation Program

Native Fish Conservation, Cutthroat Trout
©Cindy Goeddel Photography

Yellowstone National Park is working to restore native fish in the Park ecosystem with a $1 million dollar funding commitment made by the Yellowstone Park Foundation in 2012. The purpose of the Park’s Native Fish Conservation Plan is to ensure that native fish remain to support natural ecological function, biodiversity, and sport fishing. A major goal is to decrease the number of predatory, non-native lake trout, which in recent years have dramatically reduced the number of native Yellowstone cutthroat trout and threaten the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The program will also include other important fish conservation and restoration activities.

Learn more about the Native Fish Conservation Program

2013 Native Fish Conservation Summary Report

2013 Native Trout Restoration in Slough Creek Summary Report

Fly Fishing Volunteers Program

 

Bear-Safe Campgrounds

YCC Install of Bear Box 140X115

The recovery of the greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population and subsequent delisting has been a success for species preservation. However, it’s critical to minimize human interactions, such as conflicts that arise from conditioning to human food. Bear-proof food storage containers are a proven means to keep human foods away from bears. Unfortunately, less than 25 percent of the Park's roadside campgrounds have bear-proof storage containers. Donated funds allow the Park to acquire and install bear-proof food storage containers where they are needed most, and reduce bear-inflicted human injuries and the number of bears that become conditioned to human foods.

Find out how you can Sponsor a Bear Box.

 

Yellowstone Raptor Study

NPS Bald Eagle

Yellowstone National Park supports a rich community of raptors, but there isn’t data on the trends of key raptors in the Park, such as red-tailed hawks and owls, and species of concern such as golden eagles. Many raptors are decreasing outside the Park, and some may even be considered for endangered species listing in the near future. This program will determine which raptors use the Park, population trends, and annual migration patterns through Yellowstone. This effort will establish baseline data on key species that could be affected by warming climate and changes in land use outside the Park. The Yellowstone Park Foundation has committed $85,000 for the first year of a five-year study, conducted in collaboration with other public and private agencies.

2013 Raptor Initiative Summary Report

Learn more about the Yellowstone Raptor Study

 

Yellowstone Wolf Project

Yellowstone Wolf Project

It has been more than 15 years since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, and understanding and monitoring their impact on the entire ecosystem is one of the Park's priorities. The federal government provides funding for basic monitoring of wolves in Yellowstone, but it doesn’t fund the project's equipment needs, long-term research, aerial monitoring, or staff necessary to run the project effectively. The Yellowstone Park Foundation raises a approximately $250,000 every year to make up for this funding shortfall, including sponsoring wolf radio and GPS collars and funding programs to help visitors learn about wolves.

Learn about YPF-supported wolf research and conservation programs.

 

Advanced Geothermal Research Network

Black Sand Basin - Thermal Feature

More than 10,000 varied geothermal features exist in Yellowstone National Park -- the largest collection on the planet. Technological advancements require greater collaboration and information sharing on these unique features. The Advanced Geothermal Research Network aims to develop a unified effort among research scientists in Yellowstone to characterize, describe, and inventory the diverse plants and animals associated with geothermal habitats. The project will also provide coordination of research and outreach, the development of database systems and virtual libraries, and update the Network’s webpage. The network is a joint project with Montana State University.

 

Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program

Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program -2

The focus of Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program (YWHP) is to unify wildlife and human health efforts in and around Yellowstone National Park through collaborative projects that have direct application to wildlife conservation. The YWHP has developed a surveillance program that targets diseases affecting important wildlife groups and response plans for specific diseases such as brucellosis and chronic wasting disease. A state-of-the-art laboratory allows staff to assess disease impacts on wildlife in a safe manner. The goals of a comprehensive wildlife health program are to integrate disease surveillance and interventions that preserve wildlife health while reducing disease risks to visitors, park staff, and local communities. Yellowstone National Park is an ideal place for such a program due to its diversity and abundance of wildlife, growing communities near park boundaries, and the high densities of visitors and employees.

 

Brown Bat Research

Brown Bat Research

At least 5 million bats in the eastern and central U.S. have died as a result of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is expected to spread across the West, reaching native bat populations in Yellowstone. Researchers project that several bat species, including the little brown bat, will become regionally extinct in parts of North America. YPF is funding the first year of a two-year Brown Bat Research project, building upon a YPF-funded bat monitoring study conducted in 2011, and initiating additional data collection on the status, distribution, reproduction, and activity of the little brown bat. It is a collaboration between Yellowstone National Park, the University of Kentucky, and the Cascadia Research Collective.

 

Stop Aquatic Invaders

Stop Aquatic Invaders

Yellowstone's 2,500+ streams, rivers and lakes are blue ribbon fisheries. However, with thousands of visiting anglers a year, Yellowstone is under constant threat from foreign species such as Zebra mussels and Didymo. Already, the New Zealand mud snail and Whirling Disease have negatively impacted Yellowstone's native fish. These aquatic "hitchhikers" enter the Park on unknowing anglers' boots, waders, boats and other gear. In 2007, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks launched a joint pilot effort indicating that a combination of visitor education, inspection protocols, and specialized cleaning equipment is key to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Donated funds provide a seasonal crew stationed at Yellowstone Lake to educate boaters and anglers, and inspect and clean boats using Park waters.

Learn more about how you can stop aquatic invaders in Yellowstone.

 

 

Eyes on Yellowstone made possible by Canon

Eyes on Yellowstone

Since 2002, Canon, U.S.A. has contributed more than $5 million to Eyes on Yellowstone, strengthening science, conservation, and education in Yellowstone National Park. It is the largest corporate donation for wildlife conservation in Yellowstone. The Eyes on Yellowstone program uses Canon funding and technology to support cutting-edge wildlife research, natural resource projects, and information-sharing among researchers, land managers, and the general public. In recent years, these projects have had a particular focus on climate change—the largest potential resource impact facing Park managers today.

Learn more about Eyes on Yellowstone.