Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bighorn Ram With Radio- Collar-Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park was established to preserve a place where animals could exist wild and free and "Unencumbered by Man". The basic premise of a place wild and free and "Unencumbered By Man", has been hijacked by a horde of researchers who put their desire for advanced degrees above the welfare of the animals living in Yellowstone and other National Parks.
If you drive out early in the morning in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone, you will see numerous "research" people aiming antennas at radio-collared bison, cougars, elk, wolves, wolverines,coyotes, foxes, pronghorns and yes- bighorns.
Yellowstone animals are subject to helicopter chases, leg-hold traps, pursuit by hounds, snared with cables, and being darted with dangerous immobilizing drugs to place these intrusive radio-collars on them.
These studies are repetitious and as soon as one set of researchers have finished their pet project, another one is approved by Yellowstone Park Officials.
Jon Jarvis are you listening? Cal Jon (202-208-3818)


  1. I had no idea this area was so populated with researchers. I like some of Marc Bekoff's perspectives on intrusive biology. I witness some of the same out here in the Bay Area, although it's not as dramatic as what you describe in Yellowstone. We did see a pursued Clapper Rail hit a dock railing in a panicked escape from a radio tagger. That was unbelievably distressing to witness.

    When I photograph, I'm highly cognizant and conservative when it comes to treading near animals. One avian biologist I know suggests that altering an animal's natural behavior goes too far for any observer. That's his measure for ethical interaction. I realize that's a bit hard to achieve, but I hold that up as a benchmark. I wish it were the norm across all disciplines.

  2. I watched researchers drive Marbled Godwits into nets at the Bear River Wildlife Refuge in Utah with airboats to capture them for placing radios on them. This insanity needs to stop.


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