Black Bear in the whitebark pine tree.jpg

Patricia says: This was taken from my car as I drove over Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone National Park. The sow and her two cubs were in a whitebark pine tree that was right next to the guardrail on the road, and traffic was stop and go, plus many people were out of their car right next to the guardrail. Normally the sow would never tolerate crowds of people so close, but she was desperate to get as many of the nourishing seeds as she could for herself and her cubs. Three-quarters of the mature whitebark pine trees in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem have been killed by the pine beetle, which has flourished with warming winter temperatures. Grizzlies, black bears and the Clark's nutcracker have been affected by this loss.