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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, December 29, 2014

The tule elk (Cervus canadensis) is endemic to California, found nowhere else in the USA..........In the early 19th century, they numbered a half million strong but were severely reduced in the mid-1800s due to uncontrolled market hunting and displacement by cattle ranching........... By some accounts, fewer than 30 remained in a single herd near Bakersfield in the mid-1870s............. A conservation minded cattle rancher named Henry Miller had the foresight to preserve this last isolated group discovered on his ranch in 1874.......... All of the estimated 3,900 tule elk present in 22 herds across California (as of 2012) were derived from this small remnant herd, thanks to his initial efforts. ......Wherever the Elk are found, positive land enhancing processes are taking place................ Coyotes, foxes, ravens, mice and beetles dine on the rotting carcasses of elk within a day after a Puma makes a kill............ Barn owls feast on the mice.............. Birds, including loggerhead shrikes, eat the beetles................Can you imagine the further positive "circle of life" benefits that the land would absorb if along with the growing Elk herds, their two other historical "dance partners", Wolves and Grizzlies were restored to these ecosystems?.............We would have another Yellowstone full suite of predator and prey at work optimizing all the other animal and plant species!


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