Winter Recreation Effects on Wildlife

The impacts of the use of over-snow vehicles (snowmobiles and snow coaches) on wildlife has been a key issue in winter use policies in Yellowstone for two decades. OSVs are required to stay on groomed roads, but the roads are often situated where wildlife may be concentrated in winter. The proximity of humans can cause increased vigilance or wildlife displacement from preferred habitat, resulting in expenditure of more energy or reduced foraging or care of offspring at a time of year when staying warm and nourished may already be difficult, potentially affecting a species’ reproduction, distribution, and abundance.

Updated 8/11/10