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Old 04-29-2024, 07:48 AM
 
Location: New York Area
35,124 posts, read 17,087,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wintergirl80 View Post
Is there an update on this?
Update on the topic though not on this shooting. Last week this article,Yellowstone’s Wolves: A Debate Over Their Role in the Park’s Ecosystem (link) appeared in the New York Times. Excerpts below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by New York Times
In 1995, 14 wolves were delivered by truck and sled to the heart of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, where the animal had long been absent. Others followed.
Since then, a story has grown up, based on early research, that as the wolves increased in number, they hunted the park’s elk herds, significantly reducing them by about half from 17,000.
The wolves’ return and predatory dominance was believed to have had a widespread effect known as a trophic cascade, by decreasing grazing and restoring and expanding forests, grasses and other wildlife. It supposedly even changed the course of rivers as streamside vegetation returned.
Yellowstone’s dramatic transformation through the reintroduction of wolves has become a global parable for how to correct out-of-balance ecosystems.
In recent years, however, new research has walked that story back.
I would like to see if this research was funded by rancher interests. The New York Times story continues:
Quote:
Originally Posted by New York Times
Wolf packs, in other words, are not magic bullets for restoring ecosystems.
“I would say it’s exaggerated, greatly exaggerated,” said Thomas Hobbs, a professor of natural resource ecology at Colorado State University and the lead author of a long-term study that adds new fuel to the debate over whether Yellowstone experienced a trophic cascade.
The article concedes that "decades of damage from elk herds’ grazing and trampling so thoroughly changed the landscape that large areas remain scarred and may not recover for a long time, if ever." To this non-expert reader, the damage would have gotten a lot worse over time. So still, in my view, at least "two cheers" for wolves.
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Old 04-29-2024, 03:05 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,285 posts, read 5,165,355 times
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I like.your concluding paragraph.

I'm not so sure we can believe anything from the NYT Journal of Popular Pseudoscience....

14 wolves killed 8500 elks over the course of about 20 yrs. (about 1000 weeks). Pretty busy wolves. ...I know, they didn't kill them all, and the wolve increased their own numbers over that time, but they present those numbers in such a way to impress the innumerate masses.

In fact, ecosystems are in dynamic equilibrium. A sudden large change in some population will be a jolt to the system at first. We would expect a large swing in things in one direction, to be followed by a slightly smaller swing back in the other direction etc etc. Like a perturbed pendulum, things eventually settle down to a new equilibrium.....The math involved is a variation of the math used to describe the path of a bouncing rubber ball-- each successive bounce a little lower than the previous one until the bouncing stops.

Twenty yrs in the course of an ecosystem is just a single hear best.
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Old 04-29-2024, 04:48 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,124 posts, read 17,087,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
14 wolves killed 8500 elks over the course of about 20 yrs. (about 1000 weeks). Pretty busy wolves. ...I know, they didn't kill them all, and the wolve increased their own numbers over that time, but they present those numbers in such a way to impress the innumerate masses.
That kind of population reduction is not impossible. First of all, my math shows that comes to 425 per year. The number of wolves did increase from the original 14 to around 124 this past January (link). Also, the elks would have greater stress during pregnancy from the wolves, and would have to keep moving and not stay in the river bottoms where they normally winter. I am happy to see the elk population drop and wouldn't mind our deer population taking a similar hit.

As far as wolves, I petted an animal on Saturday night that was 98% wolf by chromosome.

Last edited by jbgusa; 04-29-2024 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 04-29-2024, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
3,862 posts, read 1,798,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
Nothing of substance.
Thanks for letting me know. I was hoping to see accountability for the man who killed the alpha female.
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Old 04-30-2024, 07:43 AM
 
5,719 posts, read 4,307,175 times
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The "debate" has been around for at least 10 years.



https://www.nps.gov/articles/the-big...c-cascades.htm
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Old 05-01-2024, 11:54 PM
 
7,386 posts, read 12,689,597 times
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I'm impressed that this thread has steered clear of the name calling that often follows other CD wolf threads...
I have to say that I'm on the fence (wolf-proof fence? ) about the reintroduction. I've always had a profound, romantic infatuation with wolves. While I'd never adopt a wolf hybrid, because of their natural tendency of wanting to establish themselves as Alphas of the household, and their lack of the genetic, symbiotic adapted features that dogs are born with, I still love those wolfie faces, and I invariably go for wolfie-looking dogs. The idea of recreating a balanced environment with the apex predator in its rightful place has seemed both logical and emotionally attractive to me.

But now that we have property in a reintroduction area, in North Idaho, on the front lines so to speak, I've learned to see the other side of the story. Elk disappearing, ranchers losing sheep and cattle, dogs being taken from their own front porches--the anti-wolf attitude doesn't have to be irrational and atavistic: it is very often based in a very practical reality. We've sat on our front porch with our dogs, listening to the local pack of wolves howling up on the mountain just a few miles away, and it was both exhilarating and terrifying! Can we coexist? I really hope so, with caution and respect, and if necessary, humane management. But I no longer think that all ranchers and hunters who want to turn back the clock to a wolf-free era are evil or misguided.
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Old Yesterday, 01:12 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,124 posts, read 17,087,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Fork Fantast View Post
I'm impressed that this thread has steered clear of the name calling that often follows other CD wolf threads...
I chose a book I had recently read that was itself fairly balanced. I think that was a good starting point for the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Fork Fantast View Post
I have to say that I'm on the fence (wolf-proof fence? ) about the reintroduction. I've always had a profound, romantic infatuation with wolves. While I'd never adopt a wolf hybrid, because of their natural tendency of wanting to establish themselves as Alphas of the household, and their lack of the genetic, symbiotic adapted features that dogs are born with, I still love those wolfie faces, and I invariably go for wolfie-looking dogs. The idea of recreating a balanced environment with the apex predator in its rightful place has seemed both logical and emotionally attractive to me.
Pretty much how I feel. I have little question that Elk and deer do a lot of damage to a wild or semi wild area without control. I also feel that hunters cannot substitute for predation because hunters take the best rather than the weakest or most sickly animals. Also, in both species the males are antlered and the females are not. Thus, hunting does not really keep the population down as a male elk or deer can impregnate many females. First, if those are abundant killing a few bull elk does nothing to restrain the population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Fork Fantast View Post
But now that we have property in a reintroduction area, in North Idaho, on the front lines so to speak, I've learned to see the other side of the story. Elk disappearing, ranchers losing sheep and cattle, dogs being taken from their own front porches--the anti-wolf attitude doesn't have to be irrational and atavistic: it is very often based in a very practical reality. We've sat on our front porch with our dogs, listening to the local pack of wolves howling up on the mountain just a few miles away, and it was both exhilarating and terrifying! Can we coexist? I really hope so, with caution and respect, and if necessary, humane management. But I no longer think that all ranchers and hunters who want to turn back the clock to a wolf-free era are evil or misguided.
I feel that measures should be taken to enhance the fear of Man of predator animals such as wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bears. If these animals have no fear of man, they will feed from garbage. They will also not mind making a dinner of someone's pet dog. If these animals are kept afraid of humans come up without exterminating them, they will hopefully keep their distance. That will help people and predator animals get along a lot better. As it is, in my area deer are so unafraid of people that I can usually walk up fairly close to them to take a picture. I don't make a habit of that because I know the deer can be dangerous.
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Old Today, 07:49 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,285 posts, read 5,165,355 times
Reputation: 17794
You bring up good points about the weaknesses of using hunting as an artificial replacement for apex predators...but it's better than nothing.

About the only thing good about Cook County IL (Chicago) is their 67,000 ac Forest Preserve. Kept unpublicized for fear of inducing outrage among Eco-Do-Gooders, they hold an annual hunt by professionals to keep the deer population in check. Without that, the deer would quickly devastate their available feed and they'd all starve to death.
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