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.
Read more about predators and management practices:
When the Otters Vanished, Everything Else Started to Crumble
Quoting the authors of the article below, “In the Aleutian’s delicate seascape, otters hold the entire ecosystem together. As they have disappeared, the rest of the local food web has started to crumble.
Over millions of years, rangelands have evolved under grazing by nomadic herds that travel in mass, bunched up to protect both young and adults from predators. And, plants have evolved to need this. This observation […]
25 Years After Returning to Yellowstone, Wolves Have Helped Stabilize The Ecosystem
As discussed in the article below, “by reducing elk numbers and thinning out weak and sick animals, wolves are helping create more resilient elk herds.” This is true, but another likely reason for falling […]
Wolf Species Rebounds in Southwest, Angering Ranchers
The success of the Mexican gray wolf reintroductions is great news. Limited wolf hunting would change wolf behavior, making wolves less of a nuisance, according to ranchers quoted in the article below. Wolf advocates should get […]
Book Review: Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther
“Quoting a reader: This is the latest of several books by an author whose focus is on nature (primarily Florida’s) and attempts to protect it, with special emphasis on what happens when a bureaucracy becomes […]
“The real problem described in the article below is that grizzly bears do not fear humans. Limited hunting would change that, greatly reducing bear mortality from human causes by making bears wary of people.
Mexican Gray Wolf Numbers in the US Soared in 2019
Cattlemen have a big problem with these little wolves. On closer inspection, it turns out there are ways to ranch alongside these animals. These alternative strategies benefit wildlife and habitat in important ways while improving […]
Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
According to the article below—and the study on which it is based—humans have caused the extinction of many large animals over the past 100,000 years. This has changed ecosystems greatly, generally for the worse. […]
Quoting the producers of the video below, “When we placed game cameras on an elk migration corridor near Yellowstone, we found many grizzly bears on the elk trail. Sometimes we were actually hiking in the […]
Across the West as well as in Texas, agencies, universities, governmental and conservation organizations resist holistic wildlife and agricultural management practices. Most Western public grazing rules make holistic grazing very difficult if not impossible In this […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]