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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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Friday, June 5, 2015

While the article below focuses on the interplay between Ethiopian Wolves and Gelada Monkeys in Eastern Africa, I thought all of you would find it a fascinating read...........Seems like the Wolves of this region succeed in catching rodents 67% of the time when amidst a troop of the Monkeys versus only having a 25% success rate when out hunting in a region that is Monkey free...........Researchers have found that the Wolves virtually never prey on baby Monkeys when amidst a troop and do not act threatening in any way...............Conjecture is that either the Monkees either flush out the rodents making it easier for the Wolves to pounce or that the Monkees somehow distract the rodents and thus again make it easier for the Wolves to get their "meal".........There does not appear to be any benefit that the Wolves supply to the Monkees as feral dogs and other predators do not seem to be deterred from attacking Monkees when the wolves are present.............It would be interesting for a study like this to take place here in North America looking to determine if Wolves, Coyotes, Bears, Pumas, Bobcats, Lynx, Wolverines benefit in any way through a similar association with another animal group

Monkeys' cosy alliance with 

wolves looks like domestication

In the alpine grasslands of eastern Africa, Ethiopian wolves and
 gelada monkey are giving peace a chance. The geladas – a type
 of a baboon – tolerate wolves wandering right through the middle
 of their troops, while the wolves ignore potential meals of baby
 geladas in favour of rodents, which they can catch more easily
when the monkeys are present.

The unusual pact echoes the way dogs began to be domesticated
by humans (see box, below), and was spotted by primatologist
 Vivek Venkataraman, at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire,
 during field work at Guassa plateau in the highlands of north-central
Even though the wolves occasionally prey on young sheep and goats
, which are as big as young geladas, they do not normally attack the
 monkeys – and the geladas seem to know that, because they do
not run away from the wolves.
"You can have a wolf and a gelada within a metre or two of each
other and virtually ignoring each other for up to 2 hours at a time,
" says Venkataraman. In contrast, the geladas flee immediately to
 cliffs for safety when they spot feral dogs, which approach
 aggressively and often prey on them.
When walking through a troop, the wolves seem to take care to
 behave in a non-threatening way. They move slowly and calmly
 as they forage for rodents and avoid the zigzag running they use
 elsewhere, Venkataraman observed.

Deliberate association

This suggested that they were deliberately associating with the
 geladas. Since the wolves usually entered gelada groups during
 the middle of the day, when rodents are most active, he wondered
 whether the geladas made it easier for the wolves to catch the
 rodents – their primary prey.

Venkataraman and his colleagues followed individual wolves for
17 days, recording each attempted capture of a rodent, and
whether it worked. The wolves succeeded in 67 per cent of
attempts when within a gelada troop, but only 25 per cent of the
 time when on their own.
It's not yet clear what makes the wolves more successful when
 they hunt within gelada groups. It could be that the grazing
monkeys flush out the rodents from their burrows or vegetation,
 Venkataraman suggests.

Mobile hide

Another possibility is that the monkeys, which are about the
 same size and colour as the wolves, distract the rodents and
 make it easier for the wolves to approach undetected. "I like
 to think of it as a mobile hide," says Claudio Sillero, a
 conservation biologist at the University of Oxford who studies
the critically endangered Ethiopian wolves. "The wolves benefit
 from hiding in the herd."
Whatever the mechanism, the boost to the wolves' foraging
 appears to be significant enough that the wolves almost never
 give in to the temptation to grab a quick gelada snack. Only
 once has Venkataraman seen a wolf seize a young gelada,
and other monkeys quickly attacked it and forced it to drop
the infant, then drove the offending wolf away and prevented
 it from returning later.
The wolves may benefit from associating with other species
 as well. For example, Sillero has noted that they also tend
 to forage in the vicinity of herds of cattle, which may help
 them catch rodents. Other predators might also be doing
this without anyone noticing, says Colin Chapman, a
 primatologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "I
don't think we've looked at it very much, because the
 predators are usually scared off by people. I think it could
 be pretty common," he says.

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