Wildlife, Wonders, & Wilderness

Wildlife, Wonders, & Wilderness

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

Wildlife, Wonders, & Wilderness PROJECTS

Native Fish Conservation Program

Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

Cutthroat Trout Restoration in Yellowstone Lake

The primary goal of the Native Fish Conservation Program is to protect and restore Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. The cutthroat trout population, Yellowstone Lake’s only native trout, has been severely reduced by lake trout predation and other factors, including whirling disease and drought.

Ongoing efforts include the addition of more gill netting boats and crews, finalization of research agreements to provide estimates of lake trout population size, and measures to disrupt spawning grounds around Carrington Island and other areas.

  • Funding Needed: $1,000,000 annually matched by federal funds

Restoration of the Arctic Grayling, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Slough Creek Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

Yellowstone park ranger with cutthroat trout. Photo Credit: NPS

The current populations of Arctic Grayling, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, and Slough Creek Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout are at an all-time low.

Park biologists have identified priority areas that will help restore and maintain native fish populations in several key tributaries: Grayling Creek, Goose Lake, and Slough Creek.

    Bear Boxes For Campgrounds

    The installation of bear-proof food storage boxes in roadside campgrounds improves visitor safety, promotes the conservation of threatened grizzly bears, and enhances the visitor experience in Yellowstone. More than 1,000 sites still need bear boxes to meet the park’s goal to provide a bear-proof food storage box in every campsite. You can play a role in protecting Yellowstone bears by sponsoring a bear box.

    • Funding Needed: $1,500 per Box/$82,500 Annually

    Yellowstone Wolf Project

    Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

    The Yellowstone Wolf Project has received national acclaim, and pays for monitoring, equipment, short-term studies, and other wolf program needs. It also covers the costs that researchers incur when they capture and collar wolves, including vehicles and aerial monitoring.

    $2,500 supports winter/summer field studies on predation, pup survival, and monitoring aerial flights. $5,000 supports Yellowstone’s wolf biologists’ efforts to collar wolves to gather genetic samples for testing and lab work.

    • Funding Needed: $250,000 Annually

    Wolf Field Education Project

    Park biologist Rick McIntyre educates visitors on Yellowstone’s wolves. Photo Credit: Matt Ludin

    Protecting wolves and safely managing over 25,000 visitors who attend formal field education programs are the goals of this project. Your support also helps prevent the wolves from becoming habituated to humans.

    • Funding Needed: $50,000 Annually

    Yellowstone Cougars

    Photo Credit: Brad Orsted

    Monitoring the dynamics of Yellowstone’s cougar population is a new project that can determine how predator diversity affects the ecosystem. This research will also help the park collaborate with other wildlife managers in parks where many carnivores reside.

    • Funding Needed: $50,000

    Wildlife Health Project

    Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

    Because infectious diseases are more frequently being shared between humans and wildlife, Yellowstone Forever started funding the Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program in 2007. This program has produced high-quality research, partly due to the development of a state-of-the-art diagnostic lab. Groundbreaking work in the lab has included identifying the brucellosis bacteria in bison and elk, and providing insight into whether a vaccination program would significantly reduce this infection. Further work is needed to develop a more comprehensive wildlife health program that would promote wildlife conservation and reduce disease risks to park staff, visitors and local communities.

    • Funding Needed: $100,000 Annually

    Black Bear Study

    Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

    Yellowstone National Park exists as one of the most famous bear habitats in the entire world. Whereas grizzly bears in the park have been studied continuously for over 50 years, very little research has been conducted on Yellowstone’s black bears. A combination of GPS collars and non-invasive DNA techniques will be used to study the habitat use, food habits, spatial and temporal distribution, resource partitioning and competition between black bears and grizzly bears.

    • Funding Needed: $200,000 a year for 3 years

    Assess Grizzly Bear Food Habits

    Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

    Climate change, as well as the introduction of exotic plants, animals, and diseases, has affected Yellowstone grizzlies. This project will utilize GPS camera collars to gain insights into the potential effects of climate change on the food habits of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    • Funding Needed: $181,600

    Climate Impacts On Grizzly Bear Feeding

    Photo Credit: Tom Murphy

    Winter-killed bison, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn carcasses are concentrated sources of calories for grizzly bears in early spring after den emergence when there are relatively few other foods available to bears. A 23-year data collection on warming climate conditions and how it is affecting spring ungulate carcasses used by grizzly bears, black bears, wolves and other carnivores will be analyzed in this study.

    • Funding Needed: $10,000