In spite his several visits to Yellowstone National Park, well known naturalist and ornithologist Paul Johnsgard has never spotted a wild wolf there. He personally did not take pictures of the gray wolf with piercing yellow eyes which graces the cover of his newest book – “Yellowstone Wildlife: Ecology and Natural History of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”
However, Paul largely kindled the love in Thomas Mangelsen, the world renowned wildlife photographer who took the photograph. Paul Johnsgard started collaborating with Thomas Mangelsen on the book 3 years ago, which was a tough labor which involved winnowing down over hundred Mangelsen photographs to select fewer than fifty.
Most of the seventy-thousand words Paul Johnsgard included in the new book are based on the observations made by him when working at Jackson Hole Biological Station during summers of 1975-76. He stated on those with recent visits and by recording changes in Yellowstone Grand Teton area over the past forty years.
The time includes the crushing wildfire of the year 1988 that scorched around 1.2 million acres; i.e. thirty six percent of the park and the wolves re-introduction in the year 1995, a controversial decision whose reverberation still are felt today. The soft bound book carries images of wolves, cougars, bison, elk, coyotes and grizzlies; along with bald eagles, sage grouse, ravens, trumpeter swans, ospreys, western tanagers and several other birds.
Speaking of his 60th book and the very first coffee table book, it is geared toward the visitor and not the scientist. The collaborators of the book begun almost almost thirty year old friendship while Thomas was a grad student.