Explore Nature (@naturenps) [similar]

Explore science and nature in the National Park Service and beyond.

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

This Canada lynx looks like most of us rolling out of bed on a wintry Monday morning. 😴 Looking for our #MondayMotivation... #mood #monday #nationalparks #alaska #denali #wildlife #lynx #bigcats #findyourpark

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

The Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, like this one at @lassennps, is one of 19 species of ground squirrels in North America🌎. They are often mistaken for chipmunks because of their chipmunk-like stripes and coloration. 🐿️But you can spot the difference! Golden-mantled squirrels don’t have any facial stripes, but #chipmunks do. These animals live in a wide variety of habitats, from rocky meadows to sagebrush flats. They can be found munching on seeds, nuts, berries, and insects.
#wildlifewednesday #GroundSquirrels #Instasquirrel #whoruntheworldsquirrels #nature #nationalparks #findyourpark #wildlife #lassennationalvolcanicpark

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Have you ever returned from a trip wishing you could relive certain events? Like sledding at @whitesandsnps? We can’t help you travel back in time, but we can offer some tips for making your memories a little more vivid: go.nps.gov/memories #FindYourPark #whitesands #nationalpark #makingmemories #adventure #greatoutdoors #sledding #travel #nature #adventureisoutthere

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

#ThursdayThoughts: What do you call a group of seals? The answer: a pod or herd. These #harborseals were spotted at @kenaifjordsnps NPS Photo / Jim Pfeiffenberger #alaska #seals #nature #findyourpark #nationalpark #wildlife

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

A wise old owl sat on an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?
-Author Unknown
.
.
#wednesdaywisdom #wildlifewednesday #birdyourworld #wiseoldowl #barredowl #shenandoahnationalpark #findyourpark
.
[*Edited: We previously misattributed this poem to Charles Schulz. It is unclear who actually wrote this poem. It was recorded as early as 1875, but it may be even older than that.]

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Happy #nationaltriviaday!  Which national #park is in one of the wettest parts of the United States? 🤔The mountain in this park receives around 200 inches of precipitation a year! 🌧️
.
.
.
Answer: Olympic National Park in Washington State!🌲 The wet climate creates the perfect conditions for the old-growth temperate rain forests in the Quinault, Queets, Hoh, and Bogachiel valleys to thrive!
#trivia #olympicnationalpark #oldgrowthrainforest #washingtonstate #hohrainforest #FindYourPark

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

This national monument contains the world’s largest gypsum dunefield that covers 275 square miles of desert. #whereisit ?
.
.
.
White Sands National Monument in New Mexico!
This magnificent wonder began to form long ago when an ancient sea covered most of the southwestern United States and layers of #gypsum were deposited on the seafloor.
#whereisitwednesday #naturalbeauty #whitesandsnationalmonument @whitesandsnps

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Happy 2018! Let’s start off the New Year with a brand new #sciencedeskdigs!
Do you like puzzles and mysteries? Did you figure out that Haley Joel Osment sees dead people before the end of Sixth Sense? Well then you have a lot in common with wildlife #veterinarian, Jenny Powers, who is an expert puzzle solver! She helps parks figure out the mystery when they have more wildlife deaths than normal. Learn how she uses a necropsy kit to help her solve these kinds of wildlife puzzles in this week’s #sciencedeskdigs.
.
.
A big part of my job is to help park managers and staff when they are experiencing unusual mortality events which means they are seeing more dead animals in their park than they expect during a certain time period.  One way we help them is to do a disease investigation which usually requires performing necropsies which is an autopsy on an animal. In order to do a necropsy, you need a kit and my kit contains: scalpels, forceps, scissors, baggies, blood tubes, hatchet, biopsy instruments, gloves, a plastic apron, and a face mask. .
.
One recent disease investigation we did was at @devilstowernps in Wyoming. They found 20 dead deer in just 2 months when they usually find less than 1 dead deer in that same time period. They knew something was wrong so the park managers contacted me to help solve their deer death mystery. In order to figure out what might be killing the deer I asked park biologists to take fresh tissue samples and send them to us. By looking for pathogen DNA in those samples we were able to rule out several bacterial and viral causes of death and ultimately diagnose Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a virus transmitted by midges that affects deer around the country. Puzzle solved! This disease does not affect humans but can cause population scale die-offs in #deer.
.
.
I love coming to work each day not knowing what disease mystery or puzzle there will be to solve! The hard days are when we end up with more question marks than answers but this is an opportunity to look even deeper and collaborate with colleagues across the country to resolve questions that help park managers keep #wildlife populations healthy. #ParkScience

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Let it snow! ❄️ ⛄️ Are you enjoying the #greatoutdoors this weekend? NPS photo / G. Gerber #snow #findyourpark #yellowstone

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

The 2018 #ChristmasBirdCount is underway, and parks across the country are joining in the survey. Whether you’re bidding with the count or on your own, don’t forget to listen! Sounds of birds often aid in sightings. 🐦 Learn more go.nps.gov/heedingthecall. NPS photo / K. Miller. #birding #greyjay #birders #findyourpark #nature #festivefriday

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Swan 1: Where did the other 5 go?
Swan 2: I guess they’ll have to change the song.
NPS/J.Mills @lakeclarknps #swansaswimming #swans #lakeclarknationalpark #wildlifewednesday

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Help us come up with a caption for this wintry scene! 🐏❄️
NPS/ Lian Law
#denali #dallsheep #captionthis #Monday

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

It’s International Mountain Day. What’s your favorite park with peaks? 🏔️ NPS Photo. #grandtetons #grandtetonnationalpark #wyoming #mountains #snowypeaks #mountainday #greatoutdoors #getoutside #findyourpark

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

It’s #triviatuesday time! Which national park contains the world’s most active volcano?🌋
.
.
It’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
🌋Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983 and produces enough volcanic material every day to cover a football field to the height of the Washington Monument!
NPS Photo/David Restivo
#FindYourPark #hawaii #parkscience #lethawaiihappen #aloha #volcano #kilauea #lava #lavaflow #hawaiivolcanoesnationalpark #getoutside #nature #forceofnature

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

This week’s #sciencedeskdigs comes all the way from Alaska!
👀🐦
Everybody counts! And in @glacierbaynps every BODY counts. These specialized binoculars are invaluable in helping Chris Sergeant, NPS Ecologist in Southeast Alaska, track #bird populations. Take a gander here and learn what’s so special about this rather ordinary-looking pair.
.
.
Every bird nerd has their favorite pair of binoculars, and mine can measure the distance to a bird hundreds of feet away with an accuracy of one or two yards. Why would someone need such a fancy pair of range-finding binoculars? To count murrelets, of course! Since 2009, our group has been tracking the abundance of Kittlitz’s and marbled murrelets in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Glacier Bay is the summertime home for about one-third of the global population of Kittlitz’s murrelets, an important seabird that relies on icy waters and rugged mountaintops to make a living. As indicators of the health of the Glacier Bay ecosystem, we want to know if #murrelet populations are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same over time.
.
.
Counting small birds in a large place like Glacier Bay can be tricky business, and one pitfall is that we can’t see every bird along our survey route. The further birds are from our boat, the more likely we are to miss them. To make up for this, we measure the distance to each group of birds we observe, and then adjust our abundance estimates to account for missed individuals. Scientists call this technique, “distance sampling,” and it is the state-of-the-art for many wildlife studies.
.
.
So, come July, if you’re lucky enough to be kayaking around Glacier Bay and taking in the amazing scenery, you might see a couple of surveyors aboard our research vessel holding a pair of range-finding binoculars!
#parkscience #glacierbay #Alaska

Explore Nature (@naturenps)

Did you know the orchards within #CapitolReefNationalPark are preserved as part of the historic landscape?

There are over 3,000 fruit and nuts trees in the #orchards, with beautiful flowers coloring the landscape in spring. Park staff work hard to maintain the orchards, but so do a wide variety of #insects who go from flower to flower transferring pollen - the first step in fruit production for many of the fruit trees. NPS Photos.
#ThanksPollinators #BeeHappy #pollinators #FindYourPark #flowers #bees #instaflower #explorenature
More...