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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, January 19, 2016

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 with 14 animals that were captured in Canada................ In 2003, the wolf population peaked with an estimated 174 animals...............At the time of Wolf re-introduction, a bloated Northern Yellowstone Elk herd of some 15,000 carpeted the landscape.......Per Yellowstone Park biologist Doug Smith, the 4900 Elk that exist today in the northern reaches of the Park seem to have found a sustainable carrying number, a population allowing plant regeneration and more optimum biodiversity in the ecosystem..............104 wolves/4900 Elk..............The Yellowstone system once again vibrant with predator and prey in rough equilibrium!

Officials: Elk population stable after years of decline

BOZEMAN (AP) — Officials say the elk population in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park and southern Montana is stable after dropping over the past few years, though biologists are warning that after a set of mild winters, there is a possibility that 
harsher winters could change that in the future.
The Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group counted 4,900 elk in the region this winter. That’s up from last year’s count of 4,840 elk, but still down sharply from the highest count in recent years, when biologists saw more than 6,000 in 2010, and down from 19,000 in the mid-1990s.
“In a way it’s good news,” said Doug Smith, a Yellowstone National Park biologist. “We think we have a fairly stable elk herd.”

Wolves chasing Elk, as it was meant to be for the optimum
health of the two species as well as the rest of the environment
they occupy

The number of elk in that region has been the subject of a debate between outfitters, hunters and wildlife officials for several months.
Wildlife officials proposed capping the number of hunters in one hunting district near Gardiner at 75, a huge drop from the number allowed to hunt there now, which is about 1,500 in heavily trafficked years. Wildlife officials cite unsustainable hunting, while opponents argue the herd isn’t in a biological crisis.
The count is an estimate, based on airplane surveillance. They were documented by the number of elk and didn’t classify them by sex or age.
Karen Loveless, a biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said she flew over the area in late December and kept track of the bulls, an indication of the herd’s health. She saw 116 brow-tine bulls, which are bulls older than about 2 years. Of those, she said about 44 percent were six-point or better, and about 56 percent were five-point or smaller, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported

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