• Steam rises off of the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Wetland Birds

A large group of white pelicans sit on land next to water
American white pelicans, sometimes mistaken for trumpeter swans at a distance, appear to have a stable population. Pelicans and other colonial nesting birds nest primarily in the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake.

Approximately 30% of the bird species that breed in Yellowstone depend on wetlands. Scientists are concerned about these species because wetlands are expected to diminish as global and local temperatures increase. They are monitoring the trumpeter swan, common loon, and colonial nesting species, like the double-crested cormorant and American white pelican. Yellowstone has years of data about the rate and success of nesting for some of these species, but little information about changes in the timing of nesting activity—an indicator of climate change.


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