It seems that wildlife is never far away in Grand Teton National Park. High in the mountains, a yellow bellied marmot whistles a warning as a golden eagle soars above. Searching for insect larvae, a black bear rips into a rotten lodgepole pine log. On the valley floor, a herd of bison graze as a coyote trots among the sagebrush, looking for a meal. Along the Snake River, an osprey dives into the water with talons extended, rising with a cutthroat trout. In a nearby meadow, a moose browses the tender buds of willows that grow in this water-rich environment. Animals relate to and shape the environment in which they survive; they are also connected one with another. Some of these relationships are obvious, while others are much less so.
These relationships and connections cross park boundaries. Grand Teton National Park's 310,000 acres lie at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Area. The Greater Yellowstone Area encompasses over eleven million acres and is considered one of the few remaining, nearly intact, temperate ecosystems on earth. The animals that inhabit Grand Teton National Park depend on this vast area for survival, residing in and migrating to different areas depending on the season.