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Decline of Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone National Park is Topic of Thursday Talk

June 17, 2013 — The decline of cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park is the topic of the weekly summer lecture series Thursday, June 20, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

UW’s Jamie Crait will discuss “The Impact of Non-native Species on River Otters and Aquatic-Terrestrial Linkages in Yellowstone National Park” at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Crait will present data on the biology of river otters in Yellowstone Lake in the context of a decline in cutthroat trout populations due to non-native lake trout and whirling disease. The research focuses on otter population dynamics, and also changes in their behavior, diet and physiological mechanisms limiting diving tolerance at high elevations.

“Otters play an important role in nutrient transport cycles by eating cutthroat trout and depositing nitrogen in the terrestrial habitat at historic latrine sites,” Crait says.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

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