March 1, 2012 - Great Day for Animals

Anniversary of the Creation of the First National Park in the World!

On this date in 1872, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law a bill that created the world's first national park, Yellowstone. This 2-million-acre park fills one corner of the state of Wyoming and spills a bit into Montana and Idaho as well. It is famous for its many geothermal features, such as bubbling mud pots and stunning geysers, but another thing people count on when they go visit Yellowstone is seeing wildlife.
And not only is Yellowstone important for wildlife, the whole concept of a national park is crucial and has helped to keep some wilderness areas...well, wild! Now more than 100 countries have set aside land in national parks, including China with its 208 national parks, and Australia with its 685 national parks!


Yellowstone is one of the best places in the U.S. (aside from Alaska) for wildlife, including the wildlife that people most want to see: large mammals. There are 60 species of mammals in the park, including the gray wolf
grizzly bear
black bear
mule deer
white-tailed deer
mountain goat
bighorn sheep
and mountain lion.

She-e-esh, huh?

Trust me, you're going to see a few of these—but mostly herds of bison and elk, and a few deer. If you're lucky, you might see a mountain goat or a bighorn sheep. You'd have to be VERY lucky to see a moose or one of the carnivores!

Yellowstone has the largest public herd of American bison in the U.S. It also has large herds of elk. As a matter of fact, there used to be too many elk, until the gray wolf was reintroduced to the area.

Of course, there are many other smaller mammals, plus fish, birds, reptiles, and insects, in Yellowstone. It's a great place for animals—and therefore a great place to go see animals!

For info on Yellowstone's geysers...

...check out this earlier post

Also on this date:

Did you know...?

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