The Yosemite Conservancy blog. An insider's look at what's happening in the park — and how our donors are making a difference.

Field Notes

The Yosemite Conservancy blog.
An insider's look at what's happening in the park — and how our donors are making a difference.

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A male mule deer in Yosemite Valley pauses in a meadow and looks toward Half Dome on an autumn day in the Sierra. Photo: Christopher Michel

Whether rerouting trails, planting wildflowers or erasing "eco-graffiti," the steps that crews take to restore and preserve diverse habitats help animals thrive in their natural homes — and help ensure that people can experience protected ecosystems with minimal impact.

A lustrous copper butterfly in Yosemite. Photo: Courtesy of NPS.

You don't have to be an entomology expert to appreciate butterflies — but if you're curious about insect research, it helps to know some pros! We caught two scientists for a quick Q-and-A about studying these colorful winged creatures in Yosemite. 

A Yosemite field research crew skis up Rock Island Pass in the park's remote northern wilderness during a seven-day trip to support research on a rare red fox. Photo: © Ryan Kelly

Science doesn't stop when the snow starts falling. Follow our project coordinator to the northern Yosemite Wilderness to see what it's like to be part of a field research crew during a Sierra Nevada winter!

A remote camera in the northern Yosemite Wilderness captured this image of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the snow on January 26, 2015. Photo: Courtesy of NPS

How do you study a rare animal that few people will ever see? Remote cameras can provide valuable insights through motion-triggered images (like this one, captured in January 2015) - but to get a more complete picture, scientists in Yosemite have turned to collecting other on-the-ground evidence.