The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is rife with eye-catching scenery and wildlife — it only takes a few hours of driving or hiking to see it. But much of what makes Yellowstone truly great isn’t obvious from roadside or trailside. Watch these four videos for a less obvious look at the inner workings of America’s first national park and its vast, interconnected ecosystems.
1. Climate Change and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The National Park Service (NPS) has provided conservation and environmental studies that have been a great benefit to Yellowstone and its visitors. But the effects of climate change have compromised the stability of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The NPS works to gauge the effects of climate change, and take proactive measures to stifle its effects.
2. Greater Yellowstone Whitebark Pine
Whitebark Pine are a delicate, essential part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The National Forest Service provides detailed information on threats to Whitebark Pine that stem from multiple ecological phenomena.
3. Madison Valley, Montana: A model for land & water conservation
Conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem doesn’t always happen within Yellowstone’s man-made borders — nature doesn’t draw such defined lines. In places like southwest Montana, conservationists ensure residential development and other private enterprises don’t soil wilderness that houses plant and animal life unique to the region.
4. Photographing Animal Migrations, the Heartbeat of Yellowstone
Wildlife ecologist Arthur Middleton and photographer Joe Riis outline the beauty and struggle of animal migration across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem — a subject that hasn’t been researched in great depth. Middleton breaks down detailed behaviors of migrating ungulates and their interactions with animals and objects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, while Riis captures intimate and often visceral photos of these animals on their journeys. Their findings can be found in the Invisible Boundaries exhibit currently at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.