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The Butcher Bird – Life, Death and Fast Food on the Plains

Heading into the seventh month of a year-round citizen science program on American Prairie Reserve, I’m able to witness the hidden treasures of the ecosystem in ways I’d never imagined. Thanks to volunteers from around the world, we’re able to capture, document and share what’s happening at a level of detail that we can’t do…

Unexpected Conservation Connection Between Montana, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates

My wife Kayla and I, after decades of living in Montana, made a rookie mistake last month as we tried, on a week’s notice, to secure a three-night spot at one of our favorite camping areas. We figured the second week of July would be a perfect time for relaxing and wildlife watching. Apparently so…

Absaroka-Beartooth Front: Yellowstone’s wild front porch

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text By Jeff Welsch Photos by Dave Showalter, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). High on the rugged…

Adventure Science: There Could Be Bison Outside My Tent

Experience elk, deer, bison, badgers, rattlesnakes and mind-blowing sunsets: This is life as a volunteer for the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Landmark program on American Prairie Reserve. Apply now for a fall crew!

May 4, 2014: Driving to the World’s Coldest Cities and Cracking the Humor Code

The winter of 2014 was long and cold in many parts of North America. But even the most frigid midwestern temperatures would be considered mild to Oymyakon, Russia’s 472 residents. One of the candidates for the “Coldest Town in the World,” Felicity Aston visited the Siberian hamlet in the middle of winter to learn how its residents deal with sustained temperatures of -76 degrees Fahrenheit. On her 18,000 mile “Pole of Cold” drive from London to Europe and Asia’s coldest places, Aston learned that the residents love winter, because it often provides them with their livelihood, it connects them with nearby towns by letting them drive over frozen lakes and rivers. She also gives tips on how to get a car to start when the mercury dips nearly 100 degrees below freezing.

Exploring Montana’s Sea of Grass

By Ellen Anderson, American Prairie Reserve –  In prairie ecosystems, it is difficult to see the biodiversity that is there from the window of a vehicle, even for people who are plant nerds like my husband Lars and me. Who can really distinguish different grass species without walking out into the prairie? Once we throw…

Signs of Spring on American Prairie Reserve

By Damien Austin Freezing rain has left inches of ice across a snow-crusted prairie. A few days from now the creeks will be running high as warm weather moves in to unravel the layers of winter. It’s also the time of year when my two young daughters stand at the kitchen windows with their faces…

Landmark Adventure Science: public access to a cherished landscape leads to open access data

With temperatures hovering around minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit, six outdoor enthusiasts gear up for volunteer training on American Prairie Reserve. The blue skies and sunshine are deceptive. Standing too long in these temperatures will create a chill in one’s body that is hard to shake, no matter how much physical exertion is expended. The orientation…

PHOTOS: 5 Animals That Outsmart Winter on the Northern Plains

While parts of the U.S. bundle up for extreme winter weather, the animals on American Prairie Reserve (APR) have enjoyed several warm weeks in January. Since my last trip to the Reserve earlier this month, our staff and volunteer adventure scientists have spotted bison, mule deer, and large groups of pronghorn moving with ease across the…

Bringing Classrooms into the Wilderness

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit organization connecting outdoor adventurers with scientists in need of data from the field. He also organizes his own expeditions, contributing to research on wildlife-human interaction, fragmented habitats, and threatened species.  —- A huge part of my organization’s mission is to promote conservation around the world.…

In Praise of Silence

In the past twelve years, I’ve made many winter trips to this area of the American Prairie Reserve and every time, when the wind calms, I’m still caught off guard by the lack of sound, any sound, for miles.

Vital Ground Safeguards More Habitat for Grizzlies & Other Wildlife in Western Montana

Dr. Jordan Schaul provides some recent news regarding Vital Ground’s continued efforts to protect wildlife habitat in Montana. Recognized as a formidable apex predator, we sometimes forget that the iconic grizzly bear is part of an impressive faunal assemblage where it occurs in the western states. From large deer species to mesopredators, quality habitat for…

Top 20 Photos of 2013 from American Prairie Reserve

Looking back over a year’s worth of photos, the prairie weaves an ever-changing tale of drama, peace, microscopic detail, magnitude, and resilience. The seasons become less defined, and the decade I’ve spent helping build American Prairie Reserve blends in a single, long journey. As you scroll through our snapshots from the field, I hope you get…

One-Ton Teamwork: Biologists and High Tech Animal Tracking

WRITTEN BY Lars Anderson, with Kyran Kunkel You would be surprised by how slowly a dart filled with sedative travels through the air. You can see it as it leaves the shaft of the gun and slowly floats toward its target. With any luck, the dart lands in its rather large destination – a bison’s…

A Wild Life at 40 Below: Working on a Snow-Covered American Serengeti

When you think about modern day adventurers, how many of them live and work in the continental United States? On American Prairie Reserve, our staff spend their lives submersed in the grassland ecosystem in all seasons. As winter rolls in across the plains, extreme weather teaches us a lot about what it means to survive…