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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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The National Park Service (NPS) is undertaking a nationwide effort to inventory and monitor the biological resources within its management areas. Recognizing the need for a cross-boundary, ecosystem approach to natural resource management, the system of national parks has been grouped into Cooperative Ecosystem Units to facilitate inventory, monitoring, and subsequent management decisions in ecologically meaningful areas. The Greater Yellowstone Network (GYN) includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (YNP and GTNP) and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (BICA). A combined effort of biologists from these parks and regional wildlife experts resulted in the recent release of a study plan for the GYN inventory and monitoring efforts (NPS, 2000). This document identified significant gaps in information on the species richness, abundance, and distribution of bat species within all GYN parks and terrestrial mammals in BICA. They have therefore proposed that the NPS conduct a comprehensive inventory of bats throughout GYN and terrestrial mammals in BICA to establish a benchmark for future monitoring efforts and management actions. The specific goals of these inventory efforts, as stated in the GYN Study Plan (NPS, 2000), are as follows: