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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, April 15, 2014

Our friend George Wuerthner supplied us with a PHD thesis that explores impact of Wolf Pack splinterization via human hunting and trapping on surviving Pack members impact on prey on PREDATORY BEHAVIOR OF WOLVES IN SCANDANAVIA below to read entire paper

From George Wuerthner:

Here's a Ph.D. thesis that just came out that is yet another piece of research suggesting that disruption of social ecology of wolf packs by indiscriminate killing may result in more conflicts. In this case, smaller packs kill more prey per capita than larger packs.

 This paper suggests that smaller packs will kill 3 times the amount of prey needed to sustain themselves compared to larger packs. Again this is just hypothetical, but it makes sense that random killing of wolves (by predator control and/or hunters/trappers) actually can increase the conflict with hunters because for a given area having 2-3 small packs compared to one large pack might in the end result in greater prey kill.

Similar research in Wisconsin showed that smaller packs were more likely to prey on livestock as well.


Mark LaRoux said...

If nothing else, this makes sense as multiple packs will expend energy defending from each other's packs rather than idle (play) time with young or socialization, both of which benefit the pack more to begin with. It takes more energy to 'be weary' all the time than not to (just ask the TSA).

Bob said...

Thanks or posting this, Rick. We need to make sure that facts about the implications of destroying social structure are out there. Moreover, folks need to understand that phenomenon like "trophic cascades" are compromised when wolves are not allowed to establish sufficient structures and populations to cause the effect.

Bob Ferris
Cascadia Wildlands

Rick Meril said...

Bob and Mark.............thanks for your comments.............It is not just about how many wolves exist in the Rocky Mtns or the great Lakes or in North Carolina...........It is about the social integrity of the population and allowing family units to fulfill their ecological functions...........We do not eat wolves reason to hunt them!