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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 23, 2018

Life experience, along with being strong mentally, emotionally and physically gives an edge to both Wolf Packs(and I believe, human Nation States).............The "TERRITORIAL IMPERATIVE"(see Robert Ardrey book below) rules the action of all animals that live in groups(including man) as it relates to defending a given geographical region that provides enough resources(food, water, shelter) to keep the Pack(Country,Tribe, Pride, Family Unit, Band, Colony, Herd, Flock, Troop) healthy, thriving and able to persist into the indefinite future...............As Wolf packs grow in size, they often intrude on an adjacent Packs territory(likely to have access to more and better prey), with war between the Packs taking place..........In fact these "wars" are the biggest single cause of mortality of Wolves outside of human hunting and persecution...............The outcome of these "Wolf Wars" has one of the Packs taking over the territory of the defeated Pack................With the breakup and dissolution of the defeated Pack, surviving members get scattered as lone wolves in the land periphery between other established packs--Not a favorable outlook for survival upon defeat......................Interesting enough, the sheer size of the Wolf Pack, while often being a key determinant of success in these wars does not always forecast victory............."A smaller Pack with more older adults(age 6+) and large adult males, can defeat a larger Pack who has less older adults and large males"............."The most influential factor in whether or not a pack defeats an opponent is the presence of an old wolf".............. "A pack with one old wolf more than the opposition has 150% greater odds of winning, making age more important than having a numerical advantage ( But why?)"........... "Old wolves are past their physical prime, participating less and less in hunts as they age"............."What old wolves possess is experience"..........."They've encountered competitors many times, seen pack mates killed, participated in killing rivals"........... "They may avoid a conflict they figure they can't win, upping their chance of survival".............."Having an experienced wolf allows a pack to draw from past knowledge, increasing the odds that even a small pack can defeat a larger pack"..................."As death by rival pack is by far the most common cause of natural mortality, the packs that can reduce this risk by being larger than their neighbors, having more adult males, or having old adult pack members are the ones most likely to acquire and maintain productive territory".......... "Those territories include safe places to raise pups, lots of prey, and separation from humans and roads".................I think that we human animals can learn a lesson from the Wolves,,,,,,,,,,,,,If we are to optimize our society and workplaces, we should acknowledge and value those who are long experienced, as well as valuing the strong and smart among us

Group composition effects on

 aggressive interpack interactions 

of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park 

Behavioral Ecology, Volume 26, Issue 5, 1 September 2015, Pages 1352–1360,

25 June 2015
Knowledge of characteristics that promote group success during intraspecific encounters is key to understanding the adaptive advantages of sociality for many group-living species. In addition, some individuals in a group may be more likely than others to influence intergroup conflicts, a relatively neglected idea in research on social animals. Here we use observations of aggressive interactions between wolf (Canis lupus) packs over an extended period and use pack characteristics to determine which groups had an advantage over their opponents. During 16 years of observation in Yellowstone National Park from 1995 to 2010, we documented 121 interpack aggressive interactions.
 We recorded pack sizes, compositions, and spatial orientation related to residency to determine their effects on the outcomes of interactions between packs. Relative pack size (RPS) improved the odds of a pack displacing its opponent.
However, pack composition moderated the effect of RPS as packs with relatively more old members (6.0 years old) or adult males had higher odds of winning despite a numerical disadvantage. The location of the interaction with respect to pack territories had no effect on the outcome of interpack interactions. 

Although the importance of RPS in successful territorial defense suggests the evolution and maintenance of group living may be at least partly due to larger packs’ success during interpack interactions, group composition is also an important factor, highlighting that some individuals are more valuable than others during interpack conflicts.

YS 24-1 Territoriality and Inter-Pack Aggression in Gray Wolves Shaping a Social Carnivores Life History

Territoriality and Inter-Pack Aggression in Gray Wolves:
 Shaping a Social Carnivore's Life History


In this
book Robert
 Ardrey takes 
a concept familiar to every biologist,
 together for the first time a fair
sampling of 
all scientific observations of territorial 
dominance behavior, and
demonstrates that 
man obeys the same laws as does
 other animal species.

 In The Territorial Imperative, Ardrey
 man's evolutionary nature and
 challenges some
 of our most precious assumptions.
In a time when
 we attribute to man either no instincts
 at all, or
 instincts too weak to be of significance,
Ardrey's conclusions concerning the
force exerted on human life by territory
undoubtedly raise storm.

 The author concludes,
 for example, that a common cause for
 war lies 
in our ignorance of man's animal
 nature - in 
particular, in the aggressor's ignorance
of the 
enormous animal energies which his
intrusion will release in a seemingly weak

In a quite different vein, he concludes
 that family loyalty and responsibility,
in men no less
 than in gibbons or beavers or robins,
 rests on joint attachment to a private
territory. Perhaps
 the author's most far-reaching, most
controversial conclusion is that morality
 -- our 
willingness to make personal sacrifice
 for interests larger than ourselves --
 has its origins 
in dim evolutionary beginnings, is as
essential to the life of the animal as to
 the lives of 
men, and could probably not exist in
the human species without property
either privately or
 jointly defended and the ultimate
command of the territorial imperative.

The Territorial Imperative is a work
of wit, of literary wealth, of high
 adventure. The author 
draws on his inexhaustible knowledge
 of animal ways, but this time Ardrey
takes his 
readers on far deeper excursions into
 the ancient animal world, and on far
 penetrations of the contemporary
human wilderness. While evolutionary
 science has 
advanced markedly since Ardrey's
 times, his insights on human behavior
 have a timeless
 quality and The Territorial Imperative
 remains a classic reference for anyone
 wishing to begin
 an adventure exploring life's biggest

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