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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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Saturday, November 9, 2013

If the "circle is broken", species up and down the food chain get impacted in a variety of ways...........Up in Newfoundland Canada, World Heritage site Gros Morne National Park is seeing what happens when top carnivores like wolves are no longer part of "natures design".......This part of New Foundland is home to tens of thousands of Moose and they are eating vegetation to the ground and in the process creating "moose meadows", large expanses of former forest habitat that now are grassland habitat...............Birds like the Hermit Thrush and Black-throated Green Warblers who are forest dwellers have taken a hit as the Moose have free reign on the region and do not live with a LANDSCAPE OF FEAR paradigm that Wolves historically had provided........Hunting Moose alone will not solve the problem as we see across North America whether it be Moose, Elk or Deer overabundance-----Lobos needed in New Foundland to restore the balance now gone awry

A recent study by Memorial University found foraging moose are affecting the habitat of some song birds in Gros Morne National Park.
There are an estimated 100-thousand moose in Newfoundland and Labrador, and many of them live on Newfoundland's west coast area, near the park. Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. At 1,805 km², it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada 3,700 sq mi).

The moose are eating vegetation, which is creating a problem.

"They are places where there are grasses or ferns ... there may be some shrubs but the trees don't come back," said Warkentin. Professor of Environment Science Biology, Ian Warkentin, said the moose are creating what's termed a moose meadow.
Warkentin led a study into birds inGros Morne, and noticed some changes. 
"We started to see some changes and one of the changes was, those birds that like forest habitat were less likely to occur at points that had, in their immediate vicinity, a large amount of this moose meadow habitat, this open habitat."
That means birds like the Hermit Thrush are being pushed out. But the species is not alone.

Hermit thrush

The Hermit Thrush is one of the birds impacted by Moose
"Black-Throated Green Warblers, which like to live in the branches, in the needles, in the upper part of the tree disappear from those kinds of points."
"There are more moose in the park, there is more of this damage that is being done to the park and its forest structures. We are going to see less and less forest habitat available, and consequently that would lead to fewer of those forest loving birds being present." 
Parks Canada is aware of the problem and said it is taking steps to help reduce the moose population in the park.
Nearly all of the 1,000 licences have been distributed for Gros Morne's Moose Management area. This year park officials are also expanding their harvesting area to 90 per cent of the park, making the hunting zone a little bit more accessible. 

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