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Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Project #: 197525  –   Updated: January 29, 2013

Project Summary

"The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers every visitor to Yellowstone a chance to uniquely experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves. All the animals at the Center are unable to survive in the wild and serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts...

Their stories help share a valuable lesson of how people can take the proper steps to ensure bears stay forever wild. The wolves at the Center are ambassadors, providing a greater understanding of this predator in the Yellowstone ecosystem...

Bears that learn to associate people with food often become dangerous and are u...

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Location (by county):
Gallatin County (MT)

Watersheds:
Madison

Congressional Districts:
MT District 00

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Rockies

USFWS Regions:
Mountain Prairie Region

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center Yes

Full Project Description

"The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers every visitor to Yellowstone a chance to uniquely experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves. All the animals at the Center are unable to survive in the wild and serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts...

Their stories help share a valuable lesson of how people can take the proper steps to ensure bears stay forever wild. The wolves at the Center are ambassadors, providing a greater understanding of this predator in the Yellowstone ecosystem...

Bears that learn to associate people with food often become dangerous and are ultimately killed or placed in captivity. Keeping bears out of human food and garbage is the best way to ensure their survival in the wild. In keeping with its continuing effort to educate the public on living and traveling safely in bear country, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center cooperates with state and federal agencies and the Living with Wildlife Foundation www.lwwf.org in the testing of bear-resistant food and garbage storage containers. The Centers' bears test dumpsters, roll-out garbage cans, horse packing panniers and backpacker food storage containers made of everything from plastic to Kevlar...

The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center participates in a variety of non-invasive research projects. Some of the projects the Center has been involved with are:

Researchers from the Wind River Bear Institute endeavoring to learn if bears use low-frequency calls to communicate with each other, as elephants do, ran a series of tests at the Center, using sound level meters and recording devices to detect possible low frequency calls from the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center's bears.
A University of Montana graduate student conducted a study of visitor perceptions of captive animals at the Center.
A researcher studying benefits of wolf kills to other Yellowstone wildlife used the Center's bears to determine how fast a grizzly can consume meat.
Scat and urine from the Center's bears and wolves were used by a University of Nevada biologist studying moose vulnerability to predators in Jackson Hole.
Scat from the Center's wolves was also used by Yellowstone National Park's wolf project to test the accuracy of the lab used to analyze wild scat samples from Yellowstone.
A Montana bear researcher used the Center's bears to evaluate the effectiveness of different blood lures. The most effective lure was later used in a large study in northwestern Montana which snagged bear hair for DNA analysis and population estimation.
A graduate student from a university in Idaho conducted a study in the summer of 2011 to measure visitors’ perceptions of wolves before and after their visit to the center.
Scientists working for the US Geological Survey have used two of our wolves, McKinley and Adara, to study the effects of mange, a parasitic disease. To learn more about this study clickwww.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/mange_wolvesYNP. To see images of these two from this study, click www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_science_pick/thermal-imagery-sheds-light-on-wolf-disease
The GWDC's resident bear, Spirit, provided hair samples which helped the same project investigate the effect of sample age on DNA analysis success...

The Center offers a variety of special programs. There's something for everyone regardless of your age or special interests. Please contact the GWDC for a schedule of programs during the time you wish to visit or scroll down to see this weeks schedule.
Keeper Kids—An exciting activity especially designed for kids ages 5-12. In this unique hands-on 30-minute program, kids learn first about grizzly bear eating habits then accompany the naturalist and animal keeper into the bear habitat to hide food for some of the resident bears. After the food is hidden, see how bears use their sense of smell to search out the food.
Bear Pepper Spray Demonstration—Learn what it is, how to use it, and how not to use it. Watch as the Naturalist acts out a bear encounter, with the help of a visitor who will play the role of the bear. The Naturalist, playing the role of the hiker, will demonstrate what to do in an encounter, and how to fire a can of bear pepper spray. (For this demonstration, training canisters are used.)
Birds-of-Prey—Meet and learn about the resident raptors - hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons that cannot be released into the wild because of injury or abandonment. Join the education staff and get up close and personal with these amazing birds.
High Country and River Valley Wolf Feeding & Enrichment—Come watch with the Naturalist, as the Animal Keeper puts bones in the wolf habitats. This is a great time to watch the wolves socialize with their pack members.
Living with Bears—Meet Jewel, the Karelian Bear Dog. This special breed is used to help with bear management to scare bears away from human areas. Jewel did this work in her youth, and is now an ambassador for the breed. She helps teach visitors how to live safely in bear country.
Pack Chat—Meet in the Naturalist Cabin for a chat about wolves. Learn about wild wolves and, where the GWDC wolves came from, why they live here, and what their lives are like. Check out wolf artifacts, including a man-made wolf skull. Bring a wolf sighting story to share, if you have one.
Safety in Bear Country—Come watch with the Naturalist as an animal Keeper hangs a bird feeder in the bear habitat. Learn what not to leave outside residential and vacation homes in bear country, and find out if grizzly bears can climb trees.
Wildlife Watching—Join the Naturalist at the Warming Hut to learn where, when and how to watch bears and wolves in the wild. You’ll learn what areas of Yellowstone to target, how much space to keep between you and the animals, what gear to bring, and more.
Yellowstone National Park Ranger Presentations—Park Rangers discuss various topics on the wonders of Yellowstone. A great opportunity to learn about wolverines, bison, thermal features, and more!
Mythology, Legend and the Wolf - Discuss the different types of wolf stories that have been told over the centuries."

--quoted from the website of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, at http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/

Project Assistance & Partnership Opportunities

Volunteers

Please direct your interest or questions regarding volunteer opportunities to the Human Resources Department - Ploy Nuveman at 406 646-7001 / 800 257-2570 or email ployn@grizzlydiscoveryctr.com.

Funding

Our Adopt-an-Animal program is a wonderful way for you to support your favorite bear, wolf or bird-of-prey. Animal Adoptions also make great gifts for loved ones and friends. Memberships enable you to stay connected with the Center throughout the year by receiving our newsletter and allowing you unlimited admission. We take great pride in giving our members opportunities to observe grizzly bears & grey wolves and to understand how valuable these treasured animals are to the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Funds raised through general donations and our gift shop help us to update, enhance and expand our animal habitats. These funds also enable us to create new and interesting educational programs each year. Donate here: http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/support.php

Technical Support

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center's primary mission is to provide visitors to the Yellowstone area an opportunity to observe, learn and appreciate grizzly bears and gray wolves.

Targeted habitats were not provided for this project.

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Vertebrate monitoring Show/Hide details
Education Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization


(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Kathy Pallach  (Marketing Manager)
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
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Project Photos

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