Disappearance of ponds in Yellowstone lead to great loss of frogs and salamanders in Yellowstone-

I guess we would call them “old-timers” now — folks like myself — but I remember there used to be many more ponds on the Northern Range of the Park. From the road the loss is especially apparent near Junction Butte, “Little America,” and the lower part of Slough Creek. “Little America” as a place name came from a large pond that had the general shape of the United States when viewed from Specimen Ridge.

How long since there has been water in Phantom Lake?

There are many backcountry losses too.

I don’t know if it is warming per se, but there is no longer any carryover water in the ponds at the end of the year, and there isn’t enough snow in the winter to refill them. They are dry by the end of June if they hold water at all.

Science News has just written a popularized version of the paper Climatic change and wetland desiccation cause amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Global Warming Is Killing Frogs And Salamanders In Yellowstone Park, Researchers Say

  1. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Western newt popuplations are down on my property in western Oregon. In 1988, when purchased, I would see several a day during the winter. Now it is a rare event.

  2. Thanks Barb,

    I think most of us who spend time outdoors and watched over the years can see it. The West is drying; and one or two wet years doesn’t change the trend.

    One thing that can help is beaver restoration, although that would not fill the glacial pothole ponds in Yellowstone.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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