B. R. McClelland
Presently, 140 plant and animal species found in Glacier Park are listed by the state of Montana as "Species of Special Concern", four are federally listed as "threatened" (bald eagle, grizzly bear, lynx and bull trout), one is designated "endangered" (gray wolf) and one (slender moonwort) is a candidate for federal listing. The preservation and maintenance of biodiversity in Glacier Park is a daunting task for park managers given the growing list of threats, including some that are global in scale such as a warming climate. The introduction of invasive, non-native (exotic) plant and fish species are major issues.
Monitoring changes to the environment such as impacts due to global climate change and the spread of exotic species, needs to be matched with serious restoration efforts on such things as whitebark pine communities and native aquatic systems. To do this, park managers must share knowledge with their Canadian partners as well as other U.S. agencies to coordinate efforts, especially regarding wide-ranging animals like grizzlies, wolverine, lynx and wolves and threatened aquatic populations of fish and micro-organisms. Without scientific research and management restoration efforts, Glacier Park as we know it could be irretrievably altered. The Park is one of the most magnificent places on earth and a great deal of knowledge has been gained about how and why it works. We want to pass it along to future generations the way it is today, or better.
Did You Know?
Grizzly bears in the park have a wide variety of food sources, including glacier lily bulbs, insects, and berries. They may also make an early season meal of mountain goats that were swept down in avalanches over the winter.