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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, November 8, 2016

With the USFW Service seemingly on the verge of federally delisting Grizzly Bears in the Greater Yellowstone system and turning their management over to the "shoot, shovel and shut-up" crowd who dominate the Wyoming, Montana and Idaho Game Commissions, Biologist John Laundre challenges all of us to consider the following------"Should not the people, the organizations that spent the most money and time in these efforts have the say as to whether or not hunters should be allowed to kill these animals?".......................... "If game agencies are going to award hunters who have done nothing, what message does this send to those who are directly responsible for the recovery of these species?"................."We did not bring back grizzly bears just so they could decorate someone’s den!"...................."All the(scientific, peer reviewed) data indicates predators do NOT need controlling by humans"....................... "They are self-controlled by either social structure or their limited, yes limited ability to catch their prey".................... "All areas, protected from human hunting, demonstrate this natural control"..................... "A control that is only disrupted by human interference".................. "All the data indicate that we need these predators on the landscape at numbers higher than what game agencies, controlled by hunters, want"

Grand View Outdoors does it again! With the screaming email headline: Bring Back Grizzly Hunting In The Yellowstone Ecosystem Now

by: John Laundre

 This “outdoor” ragazine’s latest issue carries an article on why we NEED to start killing grizzly bears again in the lower 48 states, specifically in the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem. I have not read the article and will not because I know it will, as usual, rant about how hunting is the only way to manage species and that grizzly bears specifically will need to be killed to keep them under control, and that game agencies are really the only ones who know how to manage wildlife, blah, blah, blah. What I want to point out here is several aspects that should be considered before we put grizzly bears back into the hands of these game “managers” that are bought and paid for by hunters.
Image result for hunters pursuing grizzlies
The first point I want to bring up and applies to other endangered species that have been recuperated is: Why should hunters who have not raised a finger or spent a dime on recovering grizzly bears, now be “rewarded” with an opportunity to kill them? And this is not the only case. Hunters did nothing to bring back wolves, actually fought these efforts, yet they are rewarded by being able to basically kill them on sight. Hunters did nothing to bring back black bears in the East yet they are rewarded by being able to kill hundreds of them in Florida and New Jersey.  Should not the people, the organizations that spent the most money and time in these efforts have the say as to whether or not hunters should be allowed to kill these animals? If game agencies are going to award hunters who have done nothing, what message does this send to those who are directly responsible for the recovery of these species? What message it sends is that their “reward” for all their efforts is to watch those efforts be literally blown to pieces by a small (6% of the adult population) self-serving, greedy segment of society, just for the fun of killing! I say fun of killing because how many people are going to eat the grizzly bears they will shot? About as many as those who kill wolves! This hunting will be strictly “sport” hunting for a trophy. We did not bring back grizzly bears just so they could decorate someone’s den!

The second point I want to make is: there are now only around 600 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. And they want to hunt them??? What game agency who knows anything about population biology would propose to hunt an isolated population of 600 deer or elk? And deer and elk can reproduce faster than grizzly bears! By all conservation standards, a population of 600 large mammals, even small ones, would still be considered highly endangered!  Yet they want to start blowing them away, just like they did with bears in Florida, just like they did in New Jersey. Don’t hunters and their game agencies know anything about conservation? Aren’t, as they brag, hunters conservationists? Apparently, they know little about population biology or conservation biology. As I have pointed out many times before, they are not conservationists and they don’t know anything about how nature works. What they only know is that if it is big and a predator, it makes them feel manly to kill one and hang its parts on their wall. Or just to kill it and toss it into the ditch.

The third point I want to make is: what is the justification for killing these animals? Again, all the data indicates predators do NOT need controlling by humans. They are self-controlled by either social structure or their limited, yes limited ability to catch their prey. All areas, protected from human hunting, demonstrate this natural control. A control that is only disrupted by human interference.  All the data indicate that we need these predators on the landscape at numbers higher than what game agencies, controlled by hunters, want. Again, displaying their total lack of understanding how nature works, hunters argue for ecologically ineffective numbers of predators because of their greed for more “game in the bag”. When are game agencies going to be directed by science and not by the hunting industry?

As with all predators, there is no justification for the commercial hunting of grizzly bears. Yes I say commercial because a lot of money will change hands in the killing of grizzly bears as it does for all predators. Predator killing has become big business and so I have to conclude that the only reasons hunters want to start killing grizzly bears again is because they have a blood lust to kill and there is money in it. These are not sound scientific reasons for managing one of our most iconic wildlife species that belong to all of us! 

John Laundré


Biologist John Laundre's 

Study suggests cougars could return to Adirondacks

February 15, 2013
By MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer (,Lake Placid News

An article published last month in the international conservation journal Oryx indicates that the Adirondack Park could sustain a wild cougar population.
Written by SUNY Oswego biology faculty member Dr. John Laundre, the article challenges previous findings, including a 1981 study by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry biologist Rainer Brocke who found that the road system in the Adirondacks would deter cougar populations from re-establishing themselves here.
"Because of its vast size and relatively pristine state, this Park is a potential relocation site," Laundre said in his report. "If cougars could survive in the Park, their return to other areas in the region could also be feasible."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Photo
A recent study shows that wild cougars could survive in the Adirondack Park.
Cougars were extirpated from the Adirondacks, in a large part because of bounty programs that sought to have their numbers reduced.
Laundre, who is vice president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, said that Brocke evaluated the Adirondack Park and identified a 7,500 square kilometer area that would be suitable for cougar habitat because of its low road and human population densities. Brocke estimated the habitat could support a re-population of 116 cougars, but concluded that human activities would cause this population to become extinct within 10 years, and a reintroduction shouldn't happen, Laundre said.
But Laundre's paper states that Brocke didn't take into account all of the information available to him on cougars, and that new information has come forth, proving that cougars can survive in areas similar to the Adirondacks.
"Although there is some danger of cougars being killed on paved roads in the Park, the low density of these highways suggest that road-related mortality would be low," Laundre states. "Within most of the areas where cougars could roam, they could therefore move across large tracts of land, encounter few people and only have to cross dirt roads."
Laundre also states there would be a sufficient deer population for cougars to prey upon. His Adirondack analysis suggests that cougars annually would take about 8 percent of the forest preserve's estimated 50,000 to 80,000 white-tailed deer, a number he called easily sustainable in conjunction with the current hunter harvest and wildlife management protocols.
"A comparison of Adirondack State Park with other areas supports the conclusion that the Park could support a population of 150-350 cougars," Laundre states. "These animals would be able to move freely about the Park without substantial contact with humans. There would be some mortality from road-related causes and removal of animals either legally or illegally, but the population would probably be self-sustaining. Other areas in the northeastern USA provide similar habitat and a population in (the) Adirondacks could potentially expand beyond the Park to establish populations across a broad geographic range, adding to the long-term viability of the species."
While Laundre's findings may show that the habitat could be suitable for cougars, there are other factors that would go into any decision to bring cougars back here.
He notes that sportsmen may be concerned that cougars could prey on species they hunt, and farmers may raise concerns about their livestock. In addition, the presence of cougars would raise questions about public safety.
Laundre says that data shows that most of these concerns are unfounded.
"If we address these issues in light of existing data rather than emotional rhetoric, there is a high probability that cougars could be successfully reintroduced to Adirondack State Park and other suitable areas in the eastern USA," he said. "What is now required is the will to bring them back."

The Landscape of Fear: Ecological Implications of Being Afraid

John W. Laundré*,1, Lucina Hernández1 and William J. Ripple2

Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, USA 
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College 

of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Elk picking up the scent of nearby Wolf Pack,
interrupting their grazing--Landscape of Fear
in action---helping to prevent Elk from denuding
any particular section of forage

Abstract: “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 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.

Wolf Pack on the move will cause grazing animals to 
become vigilant and likely disrupt their casual grazing
of the flora

Remove large, trophic carnivores and you have a diminished landscape,
not nearly as robust and biologically diverse as when those large
carnivores roamed the land

A Wolf Pack on the move creates fear in all prey animals,,,,,,,,benefiting
the system by allowing all flora to flourish and for a balance to exist
between predator and prey

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