The Trophic Cascade from the Gray Wolf

The Canyon Wolf Pack alpha pair lead their pups along a ridge near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
The Canyon Wolf Pack alpha pair lead their pups along a ridge near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

I won’t waste your time in discussing political agendas and biases for and against the gray wolf. We all know that it is a controversial species that many feel is not at all welcome in nature, despite the fact that it has been an integral part of that very nature for tens of thousands of years. Virtually all of the biases against these mystical creatures comes from a simple misunderstanding of their very nature. In previous posts, I have discussed at length why more wolves are needed across the country and dissected the bias from both standpoints. One key factor I have never laid out in full detail, however, is the trophic cascade of events that happens once wolves reestablish a healthy presence in their chosen environment. - Continue reading

Categorized: Article, Wildlife
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Understanding the Misunderstood Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear nicknamed "Blondie" searches for food in an open field in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
The grizzly bear nicknamed "Blondie" searches for food in an open field in Grand Teton National Park.

Predatory animals have the unfortunate consequence of being sensationalized as ruthless, vicious killers lurking behind countless trees and bushes. Their threat is consistently exaggerated in television and movies, while systematically ingraining a sense of wraith and mercilessness in the minds of would-be victims. Grizzly bears especially are often stereotyped as abusing their size and power upon anyone who encroaches on their territory.

Fortunately however, this holds about as much weight as a horribly written Hollywood movie. While grizzly bears can certainly be dangerous, the last thing they, or any animal for that matter, want to do is start a fight. Consider that when your next meal is always uncertain and thus, you never really know when you can replenish your energy, the last thing you would ever do is unnecessarily expend that energy fighting another healthy animal. - Continue reading

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Free Roaming Photography Welcomed by Global Arts

Grizzly Bear #610 of Grand Teton National Park walks along the ice waters of Oxbow Bend with her three cubs as they search for a meal. (Mike Cavaroc)
Grizzly Bear #610 of Grand Teton National Park walks along the ice waters of Oxbow Bend with her three cubs as they search for a meal.

I was recently told by someone that the above image should be in a gallery. As it turns out, it will be! I was recently approached by Global Arts Gallery in Lander, Wyoming to display my work. This will be my first so I am very excited to have up to ten works on the walls of the space. I am also shooting to have everything ready to go by June 1st, but timing will be tricky so at the moment it is more of a one-day-at-a-time process.

The work will be a sampling from some of my favorite pieces over time and will showcase my favorite subjects: predators, large prey species, and of course, night. - Continue reading

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The Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop

A dramatic sunset casts a pink glow over the North Fork of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A dramatic sunset casts a pink glow over the North Fork of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Whenever planning a backpacking trip in Grand Teton National Park, or any national park, always check with that park’s Visitor Center to inquire about any necessary permits. A free permit is required when backpacking in Grand Teton National Park.

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Distance (loop): 19.2 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Best time of year: Summer, Fall

For those with limited time, but want a true excursion into the Teton Mountains, there is no better journey than the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop. Both canyons deliver tremendous views of both the backcountry of the mountains and overlooks of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Though the scenery is only a sampling that the Tetons have to offer, it is a tremendous representation of the magnificent mountain terrain. - Continue reading

Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Wyoming
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Who is Grizzly Bear #610?


A video compilation of Grizzly Bear #610 in the final spring with her first set of grizzly bear cubs.

Grizzly Bear #610 of Grand Teton National Park began her life in the shadow of her already beloved mother, #399. Between 2006 and 2008, she was merely referred to as, "one of the cubs." Having achieved enormous adoration from Jackson Hole, Wyoming and well beyond, the inevitable time came for #399 to ween off her cubs and let them go live on their own.

The male of the group, #587, was last seen living well in the Gros Ventre Mountains, east of Jackson Hole. #615 and #610 were the two females working together to aid in their survival that following summer and fall. #615 however was shot that fall by a hunter, leaving #610 on her own. That following spring, #610 was seen frequenting many of the same areas her mother had taught her. - Continue reading

Categorized: Article, Video, Wildlife
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International Dark Sky Week – How You Can Help

Comet Pan-STARRS dives toward the horizon over the Teton Mountains in the faintest, last light of the day as a meteor streaks above. (Mike Cavaroc)
Comet Pan-STARRS dives toward the horizon over the Teton Mountains in zodiacal light as a meteor streaks above.

We are currently in the middle of International Dark Sky Week, initiated by the International Dark Sky Association running from April 5-11 of 2013. The purpose is to raise awareness of the increasing problem of light pollution around the globe. Most people are aware of light pollution and even poke fun at the fact of how few stars they see while at the same time reminiscing or even hoping for a chance to see a dark, night sky again.

The effects of light pollution deserve much more attention than they get however. It is not just that it prevents humans from seeing a few extra stars at night, it has real health effects that affect both humans and all wildlife in the area. - Continue reading

Categorized: Article, How To
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