Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems

From the icy heights of Grand Teton peak to the warmer and drier sagebrush steppe of the Bighorn River Basin, diverse natural resources enrich the four parks of the Greater Yellowstone Network. Network scientists and our partners inventory park species and natural features and then track the condition of a carefully selected subset over time. We call this subset “vital signs.” They include plants, animals, and ecological conditions that serve as indicators of park health.

This network is one of 32 Inventory and Monitoring networks across the country. All are working to provide park managers, researchers, and park visitors with reliable scientific information about key park resources.

Whitebark pine cones at the top of a branch, with lake in the background.
Whitebark Pine

Whitebark pine monitoring

Shallow pond in high mountains.
Amphibians & Wetlands

Amphibian and wetland monitoring

Wide, shallow river lined by tall dark green conifers.
Water Resources

Water quality and quantity monitoring

Purple flowers on an alpine ridge.
Monitoring Reports

Results of annual and multiyear monitoring of vital signs

Close up of greenish-white flower with purple specks on its petals.
Quick Reads

Resource briefs, newsletters, and other short summaries of inventory and monitoring work in the parks

Weathered, silver bark on a dead lodgepole pine tree
Inventory Reports

Results from baseline surveys of significant natural resources in Greater Yellowstone Network parks

Two layers of vertical cliffs rise above a large lake.
Our Parks

We track the condition of natural resources at four parks in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana

A small, clear mountain stream flowing around boulders, flanked by grass and forest.
Protecting Yellowstone's Water

Take a visual journey through this Story Map about water resources monitoring and the cleanup of Soda Butte Creek

Last updated: March 20, 2023