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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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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Biologists Bill Ripple and John Laundre get their due this week as their originally published(2010) LANDSCAPE OF FEAR paradigm is reinforced in a large way via the University of Western Ontario study that once again demonstrates that trophic carnivores like Wolves, Grizzlies, Black Bears and Pumas--Mesocarnivores like Coyotes, Lynx and Bobcats----All promote "top down" positive influence on optimum biodiversity by keeping prey animals vigilant and keeping them on the move, thus not lounging in any one locale too long overbrowsing the flora of a given region

'Fear itself' can help restore

 ecosystems,study suggests

February 23, 2016
University of Western Ontario

 A new study led by Western 
University demonstrates that
 the fear these top predators
 inspire can have cascading 
effects down the food chain 
critical to maintaining healthy
 ecosystems, making large 
carnivore conservation all
 the more valuable given
 the significant 'ecosystem
 service' the fear of them

The Landscape of Fear: Ecological Implications of Being Afraid John W. Laundré*,1, Lucina Hernández1 and William J. Ripple2 1 Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, USA 2 Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA 

 Coyote chases and kills Deer fawn


“Predation risk” and “fear” are concepts well established in animal behavior literature. We expand these concepts to develop the model of the “landscape of fear”. 

The landscape of fear represents relative levels of predation risk as peaks and valleys that reflect the level of fear of predation a prey experiences in different parts of its area of use. We provide observations in support of this model regarding changes in predation risk with respect to habitat types, and terrain characteristics.

 We postulate that animals have the ability to learn and can respond to differing levels of predation risk. We propose that the landscape of fear can be quantified with the use of well documented existing methods such as giving up densities, vigilance observations, and foraging surveys of plants. 

We conclude that the landscape of fear is a useful visual model and has the potential to become a unifying ecological concept

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