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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, June 2, 2014

Our friend Rick Lanman found this picture from 1928 of a 100+ pound white Wolf that a hunter shot in Highwood Mountains, Montana..............This "kill" occurred right prior to Wolves being extirpated from the state around 1930 and proves nonsensical what some Wolf Haters have been circulating about the Wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone and Idaho circa 1995----- that the Government introduced non-native "giant" Wolves from Canada -------100-to a top size of 120 pound Gray Wolves were always part of the northern Rockies fauna------an integral component of the apex carnivore suite capable of killing Bison, Elk, Moose, Deer Caribou and Pronghorn


Anonymous said...

The whole "alien giant wolf" thing was simply a desperate tactic to try and fend off wolf reintroduction by those opposed--too bad it is still being inaccurately used to vilify the wolves there. Apparently none of those people claiming such ever read ANY early accounts of the giant plains "buffalo wolves"(throughout the plains states, not just Montana!) as mentioned by virtually every early explorer. Or the fact that wolves have been exchanging genes across artificial human boundaries since before artificial human boundaries existed! Or that some of these "giant alien wolves" from Canada regularly showed up of their own accord throughout the Northwest(and still do!) long before any human-backed reintroductions! Except in most cases, those early colonizers just got blasted before they got a chance to establish......L.B.

Rick Meril said...


Oregon State Ecologist and author of the WOLF'S TOOTH AND THE CARNIVORE WAY(i urge you to buy them thru to me recently about what you and I are discussing in this post.............."The Carnivore Way contains a discussion of wolf genetics and rebuttal of the argument about the "wrong" wolf species being introduced in the northern Rockies. It was the same species, but a different sub-species. However, despite the fact that we introduced a different subspecies than ever existed in the northern Rockies, ecologically it was similar in behavior, size, and habits. Taxonomically it was different due to differences in its skull shape. Doug Smith of Yellowstone helped me with that section and reviewed it for scientific accuracy. So it is important to acknowledge that because the original wolf subspecies that was here was wiped out, what we reintroduced was a different subspecies that is the same functionally"--Cristina Eisenberg

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've had my eye on "The Carnivore Way" since it came out. Cheapo peasant that I am, I'm hoping to eventually get a bit cheaper used copy! It's still kinda steep. No doubt I WILL eventually get it--thanks for the recommendations!...As for the whole wolf subspecies thing--some folks are VERY particular about the "purity" of such, some are not so much. I'm one of those "not so much"! My opinion is that Nature will take WHATEVER is available, and tailor it to any specific habitat needs-- it's just a matter of time. I have often(BLASPHEMOUSLY!) joked(but half seriously), that introducing EUROPEAN WOLVES that are many generations adapted to living alongside modern humans, might be THE BEST option for wolf releases in the Eastern U. S., especially! And I KNOW that would never fly, of course! Boy THAT would introduce some swell genetic diversity to the North American wolf population! Just like with the whole Florida Panther deal--those trying to maintain this population/subspecies "purity"(sounding like dog-show-inbred- conformation-folks!), even with all it's BLATANT genetic problems from inbreeding, and those in favor of introducing other cougars to the population--which thank goodness(again, my opinion) they did quite successfully! Funny, but MY eccentric opinion would have been to introduce cougar subspecies from South American TROPICAL environments, as the best possible match for Florida swamps--but instead they went with West Texas cougars--from as OPPOSITE a habitat(dry DESERT!) as you could get! Although I can understand WHY they did do that(for several reasons). Then, come to find out(from DNA studies of the "Florida Panthers"), there was ALREADY some evidence of South American DNA(the most common cougar subspecies in the exotic pet trade) in the population from escaped/released captives! And many people whined and wrung their hands about THAT! I am ALL FOR the MOST genetic variety possible! Just like "Jurassic Park" man, Nature WILL find a way(given half a chance!).....L.B.

Anonymous said...

L.B.............I am more on your page than not.............agree with nature adapting all creatures to fit the environment........Eastern Coyotes as the latest and greatest quick evolving canid