Monday, June 17, 2013

Lamar Valley

Grizzly Bear
The Lamar Valley is a long valley that sits in between flowing hills on the northeast side of Yellowstone National Park. The valley follows the Lamar River from which it got its name. Another name that you often here for Lamar is the Serengeti of North America. The wide open valley is frequently home to herds of bison and pronghorn. Dear and big horn sheep are often found along its peripherals along with the occasional moose. Fox, coyote, badgers, ground squirrels and other smaller mammals scurry through the grass and sage while golden eagles, red-tailed hawk, osprey and other birds of prey circle in the sky above. The creatures that you see most frequently is the wild life watcher. People with their large scopes hoping to get a quick glance of one of the elusive wolves. Lamar was good to us this year especially on our last day in the park. We did not get to see any wolves but this large grizzly crossed the road near where we were parked. Yellowstone is one of the few places south of Canada where you can see a grizzly. In 1975 the grizzly bear was listed as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. Extensive hunting and habitat loss decimated a population that once stretched from Alaska to Mexico. Yellowstone was listed as one of six recovery areas for the species. In 1975 the Yellowstone grizzly population was estimated at 136 bears that occupied a territory of about 5 million acres. By 210 the population had increased to 602 occupying 14 million acres. While the Yellowstone numbers are hopeful they account for over half of the estimated grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states. Grizzly bears require a good deal of territory to roam and as a predator they are often misunderstood and maligned by people who make a living raising livestock in the region.     


Barb said...

That Grizzly photo got my attention! I went into the Lamar Valley when the wolves were reintroduced in 1996 - we were able to follow some packs and used scopes to watch them. It was a great experience - we were guided by biologists and some of the team that had helped with the reintroduction.

Stewart M said...

Nice portrait - here's to having more bears!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne