Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Monday, June 16, 2014

While the so-called WOLF EFFECT where Wolves Kill Coyotes and Foxes therefore thrive does not play out in the East where Eastern Wolves(Red Wolves) readily hybridize with Western and Eastern Coyotes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,in the West and in the far reaches of North America, Wolves will trim Coyote populations leading to an increase in fox numbers...............As most readers of this Blog know instictively, every "piece of the pie" has an impact on many adjacent pieces in a given region and ecosystem...........Another re-affirmation of this known "cause and effect" has been written about recently by our friend Bill Ripple(Landscape of Fear paradigm) and appears in the recent issue of Journal of Ecology

The Fox and the Wolf: an Unlikely Duo

Jun 16, 2014 04:25 PM EDT
An unlikely pair tips the population scales away from coyote dominance in North America. (Photo : Flickr: Zechariah Judy )
Scientists have found evidence that indicates that a resurgence of wolf populations in North America could be suppressing the dominance of coyote populations, allowing for red foxes to gain the upper hand in a long-observed rivalry.
According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, fur trapping records across North America Indicate that red fox populations are on the rise where growing wolf populations are present.

For wolf-claimed regions such as Alaska, Yukon, Nova Scotia, and Maine, this data is demonstrating what researchers from the Oregon State University Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society are calling the "wolf effect."

Gray Wolf

The wolf effect shows how the presence and absence of wolves in a region can affect two other primary predators, coyotes and red foxes.
"As wolves were extirpated across the southern half of North America, coyotes dramatically expanded their range," explained research leads Thomas Newsome in a statement. "They were historically located in the middle and western United States, but they dispersed all the way to Alaska in the early 1900s and to New Brunswick and Maine by the 1970s."
Gray Fox

This was bad news for red foxes, who could hunt and scavenge in peace in wolf territory, as the apex predators largely ignored their presence. Coyotes on the other hand, share more of the same prey as the red fox, and are far less tolerant of their presence. This resulted in an average three to one ratio, with coyotes heavily outnumbering red foxes.
However, according to Newsome and co-author William Ripple's work, the recent resurgence of wolf populations has resulted in a sudden tilt of the scales in favor of red foxes, resulting in fox populations outnumbering coyote populations four to one in regions reclaimed by wolves.
"This study gives us a whole other avenue to understand the ecological effects of wolves on landscapes and animal communities," Ripple said.
Western Coyote

He adds that the strong correlation between fox and wolf populations cannot be ignored. It's not exactly a "friendly" agreement between the two predators, he explained. It is more-so just an ecological balancing act trying to reset to how things were more than a century ago.
Whether an ecology that has gone so long without high fox numbers can sustain this sudden population spike - not to mention a reintroduction of wolves - remains to be seen.

No comments: