Learn about the park’s mountain goats on our website:
“I speak for the trees!” Trees are crucial to our planet. From providing oxygen to improving air quality to lowering temperatures with their shade, trees benefit us in many ways. But trees also are critical for wildlife. Animals use trees for food, shelter, nesting, and even to hunt and capture prey. One interesting, and rarely spotted species that makes a living in coniferous forests is the northern flying squirrel. These elusive creatures nest in either natural tree cavities or those built by woodpeckers. Mainly nocturnal, it is rare to spot them. If you are out at night in a dense forest, you may think what you hear or see is a bird fluttering around late at night. But, there’s a good chance that what you are hearing is actually the northern flying squirrel. Using a membrane that extends from the wrist of the foreleg to the ankles of the hindleg, they “fly,” or glide from tree to tree looking for food to eat. Flying squirrels on average glide 50-60 feet, but can glide up to 150 feet! Like the northern flying squirrel, many species of wildlife rely on trees for their homes and food. Next time you look up in the forest at night, look for the northern flying squirrel...or just enjoy the beauty and quiet of the life-giving forest that surrounds you. #ScienceFridays #trees #flyingsquirrels [image description: snow covered trees on a mountainside.]
What does the future hold for the park’s mountain goats? Increasing temperatures in Glacier National Park are changing the landscape. Forests that once grew at lower elevations are now expanding into the alpine environments. This change impacts the whole ecosystem, but what does it mean for Glacier's goats? Mountain goats are well suited for snow and ice. Their fur is thick, warm, and white so they are comfortable on the snow and well camouflaged. Decreasing snow and expanding forests could reduce mountain goat habitat. Rangers and volunteers are studying mountain goats to watch for changes in their populations. #GlacierGOAT #WildlifeWednesday
Leave No Trace Principle #7 : Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Glacier National Park shares it’s beauty with over three million visitors a year, so it is important that you are ready to share your experience with other people. Respecting other visitors by sharing the trail, avoiding loud music or yelling near others, and being kind and courteous on the roads will help everyone have an enjoyable and memorable trip. You may even make some new friends! #glaciernationalpark #leavenotrace #glaciernps #respectothervisitors #sharethetrail Image: A park ranger stands in front of a mountainous lake and talks to several people.
Leave No Trace Principle #6 : Respect Wildlife. Respecting wildlife means many things. It means not getting too close. It means not feeding the wildlife. It means controlling your pets by keeping them on a 6-foot leash in designated areas at all times, so that they do not harass wildlife and/or get you in a dangerous situation. It also means properly storing your food so that animals do not become habituated or too comfortable around people. By following this leave no trace principle, you are protecting park wildlife and ensuring future visitors will be able to enjoy everything the park has to offer! This image of a park ranger watching bighorn sheep through a spotting scope at Logan Pass was taken on the traditional land of the Amskapi Piikuni, Kootenai, Selis, and Qlispe People. 📍
Can you tell the sex of this goat? You might see the beard on this goat’s chin and think that it is looking masculine. However, both female and male goats rock beards! The goat in the photo is a female. One way to tell the females and males apart is by their horns. Females have more slender horns with a larger space between the base of the horns. Female goats are called nannies and we think that their beards are the #GOAT ! #GlacierGOAT #WildlifeWednesday
Leave No Trace Principle #5 : Minimize Campfire Impacts. Wildfire is an important part of Glacier’s ecosystem, but best to leave fire management to the experts. By practicing safe and responsible fire etiquette, we can ensure the park stays healthy and we don’t cause excess harm. Keep fires small, and only have them in designated fire pits, or else use a camp stove. Be sure to put out fires completely at the end of the night. #LeaveNoTrace #ProtectGlacier
Brrr...winter’s approach brings much change to the landscape. Bears head to dens to hibernate, ungulates head down from higher elevations in search of food, and snowshoe hares molt from brown to white. But, there are some animals whose winter adaptations aren’t as obvious. Take fish for example. How do fish in creeks, rivers, and lakes survive the long winter months? Although fish don’t totally cease activity in the winter, their movement and growth slow down enormously. Fish in lakes hunker down under the ice, reducing their movement and eating. Other species that live in creeks and rivers will find refuge in deeper pools that haven’t frozen over, finding space where available. As with other wildlife, winter is a struggle for survival. Some fish won’t make it to the spring, but their ability to lower their metabolism and adapt to their environment ensures most will survive the winter months. [image description: Four trout swim through vegetation at the bottom of a lake.]
Leave a comment if you grow columbine flowers in your garden! Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia flavescens ) grow wild in the Northern Rockies. Land acknowledgement: 📍 Glacier National Park is traditional land of the Amskapi Piikuni, Kootenai, Selis, and Qlispe People.
Leave No Trace Principle #4 : Leave What You Find. Removing one small thing from the ecosystem can displace species and cause harmful changes to the ecosystem. If you find any artifacts, beautiful flowers, or other things in the park, leave them there! You can always take photos and notify rangers if you feel it is a significant find. Bonus points to anyone who can name that pointy peak on the right side of the picture! Land acknowledgement: 📍 Glacier National Park is traditional land of the Amskapi Piikuni, Kootenai, Selis, and Qlispe People. #leavenotrace #glaciernps #glaciernationalpark #leavewhatyoufind #ProtectGlacier @leavenotracecenter
There are stoneflies living in strange places. To find some of them, you have to climb to the base of glaciers. For others, you have to drill underground. Why are stoneflies living in these seemingly inhospitable places, and what could they tell us about Glacier’s ecosystem? Read the story at glaciernps.tumblr.com/post/188701668353. [Image description: closeup of small brown six legged insect on a fingertip] #ScienceFriday #ParkScience
The American Alps. America’s Switzerland. The Great Northern Railway used these slogans in early marketing materials to promote Glacier National Park. They urged people to skip trips to Europe and instead “See America First.” Continuing with that theme, the Railway chose a Swiss chalet architectural style when building their network of hotels and chalets in Glacier. This theme even influenced the uniforms of hotel and chalet employees. This photo, taken ca. 1940, shows hotel employees in their Swiss-inspired uniforms standing next to the Going-to-the-Sun Chalets along St. Mary Lake. Behind them you can just make out the Louis Hill cabins on the other side of the lake. #ThrowbackThursday #tbt This photo is part of Glacier's historical photographs collection on the Montana Memory Project at http://mtmemory.org [Image description: A group of 7 women and one man in uniforms stand next to a log building, facing the camera. Behind them are a lake, mountains, and two cabins.]
What do you do when you see a tiny, newly born mountain goat? Baby mountain goats make us say, “yay!” But maybe we should yell, “Yoy!” You read that right! Y.O.Y. stands for Young of Year and refers to mountain goats born that same year who are only a few months old. They stick close to their mother, are very white, very small and often their horns will be too small to see. Yearlings, or one-year-olds, are also near their mother’s side, but are larger and have horns that are approximately 2 inches long. #GlacierGOAT #WildlifeWednesday Image: A young mountain goat peers over the top of wildflowers.
Leave No Trace Principle #3 : Dispose of Waste Properly. Pack it in, pack it out. This saying is common among backcountry hikers, but it applies to everyone who visits the park. Whether camping, hiking, or driving through, be sure to pack out (or properly dispose of ) all your trash and food scraps. While it is tempting to toss apple cores, banana peels, and orange peels on the ground, they will not decompose very well in this ecosystem. They may get eaten by wildlife, and potentially cause harm to the animal or contribute to habituation. If you see trash on a trail or campsite, please pick it up! It takes everyone to keep the park clean. @LeaveNoTraceCenter #LeaveNoTrace #LNT Land acknowledgement: 📍 Glacier National Park is traditional land of the Amskapi Piikuni, Kootenai, Selis, and Qlispe People.
It may be Halloween, but don’t let the wildlife trick or treat with you! Feeding wildlife can be more harmful than you might think. Animals will start to associate humans with food and spend more time “trick or treating” around roads where they are in for a terrible trick if they get hit by a car. Just like eating too much candy, human food is usually not digested well by our wildlife and could kill them. Keep wildlife wild by making sure to properly store your food and to always properly throw away your food waste! #KeepWildlifeWild #SaveABearGiveAChildCandyInstead #ProtectGlacier
Most of the amphibians in Glacier live in habitats infected with Chytrid Fungus. This fungus infects their skin and can be fatal. Chytrid Fungus was introduced by the pet trade and spread by humans via aquatic gear as well as naturally spread by the movements of animals and waterways. 🐸 Here are some things that everyone can do to help protect wild amphibians: Conserve water. Decrease the amount of lawn pesticides and fertilizers you use. Document any dead amphibians you find in the park and let a ranger know where and when you saw it. Disinfect any waders, nets, boots or other aquatic gear before traveling to new ponds, lakes or rivers. Image: A Columbia Spotted Frog sits on a log. #WildlifeWednesday
Leave No Trace Principle #2 : Travel on Durable Surfaces. Glacier has more than 700 miles of trails that will take you everywhere you need to go. In some highly sensitive areas there are boardwalks which are especially important to stay on to avoid damaging fragile vegetation. It is also important to be sure you aren’t walking on the edge of the trail. Some of Glacier's busiest trails have been widened more than 10 feet by spread out hikers! This image of a boardwalk at Logan Pass was taken on the traditional land of the Amskapi Piikuni, Kootenai, Selis, and Qlispe People.📍
Alfred: “Why bats, Sir?” Bruce Wayne: “Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies share my dread.” There are easier ways than becoming a crime-fighting hermit to overcome your fear of bats. Start by learning about them, and the threats they face, in today's Science Friday feature on glaciernps.tumblr.com ! #ScienceFriday #ParkScience #BatWeek #BatWeek2019 #Bats [Image description: black-and-white image of researcher releasing a bat as someone takes a cell phone picture.]
Chiroptera: bat Your name Latin for ‘hand wing’ - Sole flying mammal. ___________ Bats: Misunderstood. Our mosquito-eating friends, Heroes of the night. ___________ It's #BatWeek and today we're writing bat haikus. Share your bat haiku below! #BatWeek #Bats Photo: Ann Froschauer, USFWS [Image description: Photo 1: flash illuminates a cloud of bats flying overhead in the night sky.]
If you enjoy our regular #ThrowbackThursday history posts, you’ll be pleased to hear that nearly 100 new photos have been digitized and uploaded to our historical photographs collection on the Montana Memory Project (http://mtmemory.org ). These color photos, taken around the 1940s-1960s, were commissioned by the Great Northern Railway’s publicity department to promote tourism to the park and use of its concessioner services. These photos provide a fascinating look at how the midcentury tourist would have experienced Glacier National Park. Photos feature the Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier Park Lodge, red buses, tour boats, park rangers, horseback trips, and more. This photo shows tourists and horses gathered at the hitching rail near the Many Glacier hotel. You can find the link to the photos by visiting our tumblr site: http://glaciernps.tumblr.com You may notice that some photos have a reddish tint to them. This is due to color pigments fading over time. Now that these images have been digitized, the original color transparencies have been carefully packaged and placed in cold storage to prevent further deterioration. Funds from the federal Library Services and Technology Act, provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Montana State Library Commission, were used to digitize the original transparencies. The Glacier National Park Conservancy also supported this project through their ongoing funding of the Glacier National Park archives and library staff. [Image description: People and saddled horses stand in front of a large hotel complex. Behind the hotel is a lake and mountains.]
It's BAT WEEK! Why do bats matter? What do they do, other than inspire billionaire hermits to put on capes? Bat benefit #1 : Major. Mosquito. Control. Insectivorous bats (like all nine of Glacier's bat species ) in the U.S. eat thousands of TONS of insects every night! They help reduce agricultural and forest insect pests, saving farmers billions of dollars each year, and saving us from itchy bites. Bat benefit #2 : Shots! Shots! Shots! Some bat species feed on flower nectar, pollinating plants in the process. Long-nosed bats and agave plants co-evolved into a mutually beneficial relationship, depending on each other for survival. If you’ve ever had a margarita (or two ), thank a bat! Bat benefit #3 : Bats inspire us to be...well, more like Batman. Bats are so incredible at maneuvering through the air, scientists at MIT have studied them as models for aerial drone design. They’ve also inspired robotic sonar systems, assistive devices for people with visual impairments, and some of the DC Universe’s coolest gadgets. Photos 1,3,4: Ann Froschauer, USFWS. #ScienceFriday #ParkScience #BatWeek #BatWeek2019
Winter is coming! Animals in Glacier typically survive winter in three different ways: hibernation, migration, and adaptation. These essentially mean: sleep through it, migrate away from it, and deal with it. For example, bears hibernate, loons migrate, and deer are adapted to handle the cold winter. Which survival strategy would you pick? Image: A deer stands between some trees.