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)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

While I know it is politically correct to say that Government must take into account the wants of folks in particular geographic regions when it comes to restoring top trophic carnivores, I say otherwise!!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,In fact as the legendary MR SPOCK uttered in In the STAR TREK film, The Wrath of Khan (1982),,,,,,,,,, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”............. Captain Kirk answers------ “Or the one"...........The ecological services needs for all the creatures on our planet, both human and non human, require the most robust array of biological diversity possible--- Including that meat eaters be present at the top of the chain, regardless of whether a particular group of humans understands and wants this or not-----------------“All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts"............ "The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land"----- Aldo Leopold,The Land Ethic (1949)

At the top of their game

Research highlights the factors necessary for successful apex predator recovery

Being at the top of the food chain is no guarantee of a species survival. Not only are many of these so-called apex predators susceptible to human impacts, they also are slow to recover from them, which makes these animals vulnerable despite their high-ranking ecosystem status.
Ecologists and conservation biologists have repeatedly sounded the alarm about the global decline of apex predators -- a group that includes gray wolves, spotted owls, bald eagles, cheetahs, killer whales and sea otters. However, restoration practitioners have met with limited success despite major efforts to recover some of the world's most charismatic megafauna.

New research conducted by Adrian Stier while a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis examines the big picture with regard to predator and ecosystem recovery. Stier worked on the study with colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon State University and University of Florida. Their findings appear in the journal Science Advances.
"Recovery of apex predators is key because they often provide fundamental services such as disease regulation, the maintenance of biodiversity and carbon sequestration," said Stier, who will join UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology as an assistant professor this fall. "To recover apex predators we must first appreciate that the pathway to predator recovery may differ markedly from the pathway predators initially followed to decline."
The scientists' comprehensive literature review revealed that full recovery of apex predator populations is currently the exception rather than the rule. In addition to well-known considerations such as continued exploitation and slow life histories of these species, several underappreciated factors complicate predator recoveries.

"Not all predator species are equivalent, so we need to tailor successful recovery strategies based on how these animals are connected to the surrounding ecosystem," Stier said. "The 'when' is just as important as 'what' with respect to timing predator recoveries. This means designing adaptive sequences of management strategies that embrace key environmental and species interactions as they emerge."
A good example of a successful restoration project is the reintroduction of wolves to the ecosystem in and around Yellowstone National Park. However, Stier and his co-authors noted that reintroducing wolves has not recreated an ecosystem that looks the same as it did pre-1920 when wolves were abundant. While wolves have contributed to a reduced elk population in recent years, lower elk numbers have not been sufficient to restore willows, the region's dominant woody vegetation on which elk and other animals feed. This in turn has likely limited the recovery of the beaver population, which uses willow as building material for dams in small streams.
"Sometimes just reintroducing a species isn't enough," Stier said. "An ecosystem can morph into a different-looking system that can be relatively stable, and adding in these top predators doesn't necessarily cause that system to recover back into its original state."
Then again, according to Stier, that may not always be the ultimate goal. He and his fellow investigators point out that the recovery of apex predators isn't always well-received and reintroducing them in an artificial way can be controversial.
"It's important to understand what people want to see in their ecosystem and to try and balance conservation needs with social and economic goals," Stier concluded. "We have the opportunity to identify efficient win-win solutions that offer dual prosperity to these majestic carnivores and the human systems within which they are embedded."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. The original item was written by Julie Cohen.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. A. C. Stier, J. F. Samhouri, M. Novak, K. N. Marshall, E. J. Ward, R. D. Holt, P. S. Levin. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveriesScience Advances, 2016; 2 (5): e1501769 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501769

No comments: