Yellowstone Wildlife By Mr Hyett

Introduction

Yellowstone National Park is a national park located across 3 states in the United States of America: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 km2) and has a huge variety of geographical features such as lakes, rivers, mountain ranges, canyons, forest, grasslands and geysers. Yellowstone has a thriving ecosystem allowing for the largest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states of the USA. In this report we will be exploring some of the animals that live there.

Geyser (noun) - a hot spring in which water intermittently boils, sending a tall column of water and steam into the air.

Bears

Grizzly bears and black bears can be found in the Yellowstone National Park. Black bears are, as described, black with a pointed noses. Grizzly bears are much larger, have brown fur and are less common than black bears.

Size, weight and age

  • Grizzly males weigh between 200-700 pounds and females weigh between 200-400 pounds
  • Grizzlies stand at about 3 and half feet tall at the shoulders
  • Grizzlies are generally 1.5 to 2 times larger than black bears and have longer, curved claws
  • Live between 15-30 years
There are 717 grizzly bears in Yellowstone.
  • Black bear males weigh 210-315 pounds, where as females weigh 135-200 pounds.
  • Black bears stand at about 3 feet tall at the shoulders
  • Live between 15-30 years
Black bears are extremely common in Yellowstone National Park.

Diet

Black bears eat rodents, insects, elk calves, cutthroat trout, pine nuts, grass and other vegetation. Grizzly bears eat the same but also hunt larger mammals such as elk, deer and bison calves.

Bears are opportunistic eaters and not fussy. They have been known to raid human camps in order to find food so people must be careful when storing food in the park. All visitors are advised not to feed bears as they begin to associate humans with easy food and therefore approach humans more often, which is very dangerous. If a bear regularly approaches human camps, they are destroyed by National Park staff as they are considered a threat to human safety.

Elk and deer are hunted by grizzly bears but are generally safe from black bears, unless young and weak.

Behaviour

  • Grizzly bears can run up to 45mph. At his peak, the world's fasted man, Usain Bolt, can run momentarily at 27mph. Black bears can run at speeds between 30-35mph.
  • Both grizzly and black bears can climb trees, though black betters are better climbers due to being much lighter.
  • Both are excellent swimmers and can run uphill and downhill.
  • Black bears have exceptional sense of smell and good eyesight.
  • Grizzly bears are better adapted to living in forest and meadows, where as black bears are best adapted to forests and forest edges.
  • Both mate in the spring and have litters of 1-3 cubs in winter.
  • Both hibernate during winter and can go for up to 100 days without eating, drinking or excreting waste.
  • Grizzlies and black bears are solitary animals but can be seen with in the presence of other bears where there is a surplus of food.
Though bears are solitary animals they are not territorial and are often share fruitful hunting grounds, like rivers, with other bears.

Credits:

Created with images by skeeze - "grand prismatic spring hot water" • tpsdave - "yellowstone national park wyoming" • DenaliNPS - "Grizzly Bear- Sow and cubs" • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region - "Photo of the Week - Black Bear (ME)" • mypubliclands - "My Public Lands Roadtrip: Wildlife in Wyoming" • werner22brigitte - "grizzly bear dangerous"

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