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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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Monday, July 15, 2013

As we all know, when the necessities of life(food, clothing, shelter, etc) fall away below a certain level, our health and well being is adversely effected.................It is no surprise then that Kansas State biologist Joseph Craine has determined that the body size of bison from hot and drier areas of the country weigh less than those from wetter and cooler regions............The average South Dakota adult male bison weighs roughly 1,900 pounds (860 kilograms), whereas the average Oklahoma adult bison — subject to hotter conditions — weighs closer to 1,300 pounds (590 kg),.............As Global Warming intensifies, the more challenged Bison survival will become

Bison may shrink as planet warms, study says

Kansas State University
Descendents of these bison 50 years from today may be smaller in size, a result of degrading grass quality on the prairie.
By Laura Poppick
Bison roaming the U.S. prairie may grow smaller as a result of climate change, a new study suggests.
Interested in how regional climate affects bison size, biologist Joseph Craine of Kansas State University collected body mass data for more than 250,000 bison across the country. He found that herds from hot, dry regions tend to weigh less than those from cooler, wetter regions. sCraine reported last week in the journal PLOS ONE.
"The difference in temperature between those two states is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius), which is about three times the projected increase in temperatures over the next 75 years," Craine said in a statement. "That's a pretty extreme difference and beyond the worst-case scenario. But it is a clear indicator that long-term warming will affect bison, and is something that will happen across the U.S. over the next 50-75 years."
Craine thinks this size discrepancy results from differences in grass quality. Grasses in warm, dry regions tend to contain less protein than those in cooler, wetter regions. Protein deficiency slows bison growth early in life, resulting in smaller adults.
Other grazers, like cattle, will likely face similar changes in a warming climate, Craine said. Though more work is needed to predict the extent of warming on the prairie, Craine suggests that the cattle industry could face losses of more than $1 billion within the next 75 years as a result of degrading grass quality.

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