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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

University of Alberta(Canada) researchers have determined that Elk are more disturbed by humans and their machines than they are by their natural predators-Wolves, Bears and Pumas.

Elk more concerned by human behavior than their natural predators

                                                           University of Alberta researchers discovered that elk are more frequently and more easily disturbed by human behaviour such as ATV drivers than by their natural predators like bears and wolves. 

                                                                        The U of A researchers, led by biologist Simone Ciuti, spent 12 months in southwestern Alberta. The study involved elk herds, made up of females and their off-spring. The researchers observed the animals' reactions to different rates of human disturbances in the form of vehicle traffic on nearby roads and off-road, all-terrain vehicles. The elk in the study were found on a variety of land type:public, private and inside Waterton National Park. The research data show that starting with a rate of just one vehicle passing by a elk herd every two hours, the animals became disturbed and more vigilant.

 In this state the elk consume less food which can affect their health and possibly their calving success. The researchers found that the highest level of disturbance happened on public lands where the effect of hunting and ATV use was cumulative. Contrary to what some people might expect, elk inside Waterton National Park during the busy summer tourist season displayed less disturbance reaction than elk in more remote, unpopulated public land settings where motorized recreational activities were permitted.

Ciuti says this shows the elks' reactions are not shaped by numbers of people but by the type of human activity they're exposed to. The researchers observed the elk from long distances so as not to alter their behaviour. Detailed notes were taken documenting the frequency and amount of time the animals spent scanning the horizon for danger rather than foraging for food. The research was published Nov. 28 in the journal PLOS ONE. Journal reference: PLoS ONE Provided by University of Alberta

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