Yellowstone National Park is the largest nature reserve in the United States. The 2.2 million-acre park is located in the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The large volcano in Yellowstone fuels the geysers of the park. Over half of the geysers that exist in the world are located in Yellowstone National Park.
The many species of wildlife that live in Yellowstone National Park include: antelope, bears, bighorn sheep, birds, bison, coyotes, elk, moose, mountain goats, mountain lions, mule deer, Yellowstone wolves and many other species of small animals, fish and insects.
Yellowstone was the first park to be preserved as a national park in the United States. One of the goals of Yellowstone National Park is to preserve and restore native species to the park. Some species are endangered and efforts are needed to ensure their survival at the park. One of the most popular efforts was the restoration of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolves. The native Northern Rocky Mountain wolve's population in Yellowstone National Park suffered from predator control practices. By the 1970s, no Rocky Mountain wolves were found at the park. To restore the population, the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan was introduced in 1987. In 1995 and 1996, 31 wolves were released into the park. Since then, the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population has begun to breed and restore themselves in the park.
Environmental scientists are concerned with modern day human activities that could detrimentally affect Yellowstone National Park. Noise pollution and air pollution are two big concerns. Several hundred snowmobiles travel through the park a day. The noise from the snowmobiles disturbs many fragile species in the national park. Scientists are concerne that a proposed power plant in the area could harm the national park if built, by polluting the air and the water.
It is illegal to harass wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors must keep at least 25 yards away from wildlife at all times and at least 100 yards away from bears. This rule is for the protection of the wildlife and the visitors. Wild animals will attack if they feel they are in danger. Disturbing wildlife harms the animals, by causing them stress and possibly forcing them to relocate to escape. It is also illegal to feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife can cause the animals to become dependant on human sources of food and accustomed to humans, reducing their natural fear of humans which can potentially cause them future harm.