Impacts on Other Wildlife Species
Acquisition of additional wildlife winter range in the
Occasional hazing operations associated with all alternatives would be expected to have minor impacts on elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and other ungulates through disturbance and temporary displacement. In alternatives where snowmobile use would be displaced outside the park (alternatives 2, 5, and 6), impacts on ungulates outside the park could be more intense than they are now. This is because snowmobiles would be restricted to trails inside the park, but allowed to travel off trails in many areas of adjacent public lands.
Elk, pronghorn, deer, bighorn sheep, and moose would not likely be affected through competition for forage or space with bison, as each has an ecological niche that differs from bison through food choices, occupied habitat, or tolerance of snow depth. Therefore, increases or decreases in the bison population size would not be expected to affect any other large ungulates.
Predators and Scavengers. Hazing activities directed at moving bison into capture facilities or inside the SMA boundary could disturb and displace predator and scavenger species, including black bear, mountain lion, coyote, fox, wolverine, bobcat, lynx, and a variety of smaller mammalian and avian carnivores and scavengers using those areas. Hazing should be infrequent, however, and displacement and stress would be local and temporary and would have only minor effects on those populations. Changes in the bison population size and resulting availability of carrion would not affect predators and scavengers except during the parkwide capture and slaughter phases of alternatives 5 and 6, when reductions would be severe enough to cause a moderate impact. Displaced snowmobile use associated with alternatives 2, 5, and 6 might affect some of these species more severely than at present, as this activity is restricted to trails inside the park and might not be if it was displaced outside the park. Impacts on some species could be moderate.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.