Montana’s Glacier National Park – The Endangered Behemoth

The National Park in Montana, US, which also borders the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, is home to tens of lakes and hundreds of species of flora and fauna. Sprawling over an area of over 1 million acres, the park encompasses a part of the Rocky Mountains and has a rich history that goes back millions of years.

Often referred to as a significant part of the ‘Crown of the Continent Ecosystem’ the Glacier National Park is a protected area that still retains almost all its original species of plants and animals. Nearly 2 million tourists from near and far visit the Glacier National Park every year to see the Grizzlies, the wolverines and the lynxes, among the other natural features. The park is a literal treasure trove for geologists, botanists and conservationists who have been studying various features of the park for the last so many years.

And now the conservationists have raised a serious concern. The glaciers which are the most widely recognized feature of the Glacier National Park and have been in existence for over 10,000 years are receding. Changing climate all over the world has caused these glaciers to melt rapidly.

Overwhelming evidence through photographs taken over the last century shows that the Park that was home to nearly 150 glaciers a century ago now contains only 30 of them. Scientists predict that if the current climate trend continues, we may lose all the glaciers by the year 2030. Eleven of the park’s iconic named glaciers have already melted and by 2030 all the five named glaciers in the famous Jackson-Black Basin will disappear too.

The Park’s ecosystem is balanced delicately on many factors, climate is one of the more important ones. A minuscule rise in the temperatures can dramatically affect the ecosystem and the plant and animal life it supports.

Unfortunately, the rise in greenhouse gases all over the world has hastened that process manifold and the danger of losing hundreds of species that exist in the Glacier National Park is now very real.