The Gallatin Mountain Range is a backyard playground for the growing communities of Bozeman, Big Sky, Livingston, Gardiner, and West Yellowstone. But for hundreds of years, it's been a more permanent home for wild populations of grizzly, elk, and elusive wolverines.
The Gallatin Range is a natural wildlife refuge because of its relatively large size, diverse and high-quality habitat, proximity to Yellowstone, and low levels of human development in the range. It forms the northern reaches of Yellowstone's core wildlife habitat. For those park wildlife populations that are increasing and expanding, the Gallatins have served as a bridge to move into new habitat in adjacent mountain ranges. This wildlife corridor is especially important for wide-ranging species - many of which are considered "Species of Concern" by the state of Montana - that seek new habitat northward.
Recent scientific reports provide insights into native wildlife populations and how elk, moose, bison, grizzly, wolves, wolverine and lynx use the range and there is an ongoing citizen science effort to continue collecting data on the wildlife of the Gallatin Mountains. Our flights took us over core habitat areas and we looked at corridors connecting them to smaller "island" habitat.
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