Center of the West Partners with National Geographic on Yellowstone Wildlife Migration Exhibit

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Paths traced by elk migration—nine herds in all—within the Yellowstone region crisscross the area like a Jackson Pollock painting on canvas. Now, awaiting visitors at National Geographic is "Invisible Boundaries," an exhibition about those animal treks.

Joe Riis elk migration

Migrating elk captured on webcam. Joe Riis photo©.

Invisible Boundaries attempts to sort out the barriers to these nomadic species

A new exhibition organized by the Draper Natural History Museum of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West details the intricacies of animal migration in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Now on view at National Geographic in Washington, DC, "Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations" remains on display through September 30, 2016.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem lies right in the path of some of the most significant animal migrations on Earth, each one weaving in and out, back and forth through lands under a variety of separate, public and private jurisdictions. "Invisible Boundaries" attempts to sort out the barriers to these nomadic species. It goes on view May 27, 2016, at the Center of the West, and next year, the exhibition moves to Yale University.

"Invisible Boundaries" springs from a research grant awarded to Arthur Middleton and Joe Riis through the 2013 Camp Monaco Prize under a partnership among the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, and University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute. The exhibition is a multidisciplinary endeavor that also features the work of artist, writer, and naturalist James Prosek.

The presentation demonstrates that drawing political lines on a map, without attention to historical and critical movement patterns of elk and other migratory species of wildlife, is a recipe for trouble. "Invisible Boundaries" examines the reasons behind these amazing journeys and shares cutting-edge conservation science within one of the world’s most renowned natural heritage sites.

The Center of the West has spearheaded "Invisible Boundaries" through its Draper Natural History Museum and Whitney Western Art Museum, in partnership with Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Wyoming Migration Initiative of the University of Wyoming, and exhibition designer, Split Rock Studios.

Read more about the exhibition at centerofthewest.org/explore/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions.

Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, closed Monday - Wednesday. The Center is now open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; on May 1, it moves to its summer hours, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s pages on Facebook and Google+.

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Dr. Charles R. Preston
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