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Yellowstone National Park


Introduction

The Yellowstone National Park is recognized as the oldest national park in the world. It was established by the United States Congress on the 1st of March 1872. The Bill establishing it was signed into law by President Ulysses Grant. It is basically located in the state of Wyoming with parts of it being located in the southern part of Montana and the east of Idaho. It is the oldest and most famous of the national parks in the United States and possesses a major proportion of the world’s geothermal features. It is located in a region that has been the subject of volcanic and seismic activity for millions of years. The park was designated a world heritage site in the year 1978. The park covers an area of almost 9000 square kilometers. The park incorporates many sub ecosystems but about 80% of the park is comprised of subalpine forest. Within the Yellowstone National Park are many types of geological features such as geysers, canyons, lakes and mountain ranges. The largest volcanic caldera as well as the highest elevation lake in the whole of North America is found in Yellowstone national park. The parks geological features have been shaped by a series of massive volcanic eruptions over millions of years and movements of tectonic plates resulting in the park having about 50% of the world’s geothermal features.

Physical Features of the Park

The park’s features have been shaped by the violent primordial hands of mother Earth over a period of time extending to tens of millions of years. The park is majorly made up of volcanic plateaus that are very broad. There are three mountain ranges in the park and they are all aligned approximately from north to south. The park has many lakes and rivers of great scenic beauty.

Flora and Fauna in Yellowstone Park

The park boasts of about a thousand and seven hundred species of native flowering plants and many species of animals including endangered ones. There are several types of trees whose locations are generally influenced by elevation. Lodgepole pines constitute about 80% of the park’s forest. Whitebark pines dominate at higher elevations while Douglas firs are abundant in lower elevations. There are hundreds of different types of wildflowers. There are more than 60 different types of mammals in the park and many wild grazing herds are found there such as Bison, Elk and Mule Deer. There are also Black Bears, Grizzlies, mountain goats, Moose, Bob Cats, Mountain Lions and many others.

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