Predators

Predators, more than any other wildlife, engendered fear and loathing, prompting an all-out assault through much of history.

Often painted as the enemy to livestock production and therefore frontier and later rural civilization, predators’ positive role in the environment was never considered.

Predators evolved alongside the herds they hunted. Predators keep herds healthy and strong by selectively culling the weakest members—the old, the injured, the genetically compromised and abandoned youngsters. In their pursuit of prey, predators also keep the vast herds on the move, protecting habitat by keeping the grazers from staying in one place too long.

When we look at nature’s big picture, we have to recognize the role predators play in the health of the natural world. True biodiversity must also include fangs and claws.

Latest articles

Read more about predators and management practices:

Fourth Montana Hunter Attacked by a Grizzly Bear in 10 Days

The safest places shared by bears and humans are those where bear hunting in some form is permitted because bear hunting makes bears fearful of humans.   Counterintuitively, the most dangerous places for bears is […]

Wild Pups Romp Again in an African Paradise

This is part of a remarkable success story from Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park. The success there shows how fast systems can recover when keystone grazers, numerous prey species and the full compliment of predators are […]

Bears at Pitchstone Waters

“We see black bears every day or two, and grizzly bears at least weekly.

Understanding the Ecological Role of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park

Loathed as a threat and nuisance, the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park was essentially wiped out by the mid 1920’s. That changed in 1995, when the National Park Service reintroduced them there, with the […]

Grizzly Bears: The Fierce Predator of the North

Grizzly bears are at the top of the food chain, but much of their diet consists of fruit, roots, and grasses.  

Baby Black Bear Learns the Ropes

The Relentless Slaughter of Wolves Paved the Way for a Predator that Refuses to Die

Historically, most landowners and wildlife managers have thought that killing wolves and coyotes is a good practice. But whereas wolf eradications have ‘succeeded’ – albeit with enormous unintended consequences – coyote ‘control’ is impossible. The […]

The New Grizzly Hunters

Hunters have always provided the majority of conservation funding – from their own pockets. Imagine if non-hunting conservationists would match them.

Montreal Turns to Coyote Hazing After 19 People Are Bitten

Beginning in the late 1800s, government-funded eradication programs eliminated most wolves in the United States. This policy was based on a complete failure to understand the importance of predators in natural systems. Many unintended consequences […]

Disease Threatening Deer Population Has Spread to 26 States

According to this article, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first “discovered” in mule deer at a wildlife research facility in Colorado in 1967. Here is, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” […]

DNA Of Wolf Declared Extinct In Wild Lives On In Texas Pack

More on the ‘discovery’ of Red Wolves in Texas.   The real hero is “Wil E. Coyote” the indomitable little wolf of our Southwestern Deserts. Like his roadrunner cartoon adversary, Coyote has run circles around the […]

Do States Manage Wolves Better?

Decades of experience with wildlife and forestry management shows that state agencies generally produce better results than federal agencies. It’s not that the feds don’t know what needs to be done; it’s that they can’t […]

“Wil E. Coyote” for the Evolutionary Win

More on the “discovery” of Red Wolves in Texas. The real hero is “Wil E. Coyote,” the indomitable little wolf of our Southwestern deserts. Taking a cue from “The Roadrunner,” his cartoon adversary, the coyote […]

Rise of the Golden Jackal

The golden jackal is Europe’s coyote. Like coyotes in North America, golden jackals are spreading because: (1) Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, and (2) natural systems require predators. When looked at this way, the golden […]

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Protected After Judge Bans Hunting

This well-intentioned effort harms bear restorations.

Q&A – The Rules that Govern Life on Earth – with Sean B Carroll

How resilient will nature be to climate change? Why are there no very large mammalian predators? Is there a place for controlled hunting of rhinos? Sean B Carroll answers questions from the audience following his […]

In Mozambique, a Living Laboratory for Nature’s Renewal

This remarkable success story from Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park shows how fast systems can recover when keystone grazers, numerous prey species and the full compliment of predators are restored.   For more on this topic […]

Black-Footed Ferrets

They’re cute and cuddly, but nearly went extinct. Follow scientists in South Dakota as they capture black-footed ferrets to help save them.

Coyotes Conquered North America. Now They’re Heading South.

Most landowners and wildlife managers think that killing coyotes is a good practice. They are mistaken – to put it mildly – that coyote ‘control’ is even possible. The more coyotes we kill, the faster […]

Book Review of “Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History”

Paraphrasing a reader: “A wonderful book on coyotes, which covers several broad themes: coyote resilience, coyote individualism, coyote biology (including a little evolution, the science of which is easily understood), coyotes and people (in the […]

What We Know About Mule Deer Subspecies

Far-West Texas is home to the Desert Mule Deer, one of eleven subspecies of Odocoileus hemionus. Though larger than the Texas whitetail, Texas’ mule deer are smaller than their northern cousins. For many reasons, far-West […]