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:

The Answer to Keeping Moose Populations Healthy? Wolves

If wolves “compete” with moose, why do the the largest moose populations and the largest wolf populations in North America exist together?   This article discusses some of reasons why the species are—in fact—complementary.   […]

2022 Winter Wildlife Near Yellowstone Park, in Idaho

Winter wildlife, 2022 at Pitchstone Waters.  

See Why the Mysterious Mountain Lion Is the ‘Bigfoot’ of Big Cats

Much like the legendary Bigfoot or Yeti, the elusive mountain lion has also acquired its own mythical status.   

Securing a Future for Wolves in the West

Another excellent article by the Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC) the free market conservation think tank based in Bozeman.   This one is about how to address people and livelihoods while achieving the essential ecological […]

Wolves and Moose at Pitchstone Waters

It’s springtime at Pitchstone Waters Ranch, which means that we can access our game cameras in the high forests along our boundary with the national forest, and see last winter’s photos. The game camera that […]

Grizzly Bears Make Yellowstone Wolves Behave in Unexpected Way, Study Finds

As discussed below, predators change animal behavior. All predators change the behavior of prey animals.   Predators can also alter the behavior of other predators. For instance, wolves change how bears behave, and the other […]

It Began as a Tool to Save Wild Elk. A Century Later, Feeding Threatens Iconic Herds

Here is a Washington Post article on the CWD threat from elk feeding. The paper says CWD was “identified” 50-years ago. The ‘rest of the story’ is that the  “identification” occurred in a Colorado state […]

‘A Barbaric Federal Program’: US Killed 1.75m Animals Last Year – or 200 Per Hour

As reported below, the federal “war on wildlife” is alive and well.  

Judge Restores Protections for Gray Wolves Across Much of US

“This was inevitable once Montana, Wyoming and Idaho resumed their 150-year long war on wolves.  

The Real-World Conflicts in Yellowstone Can Be Solved by Markets, Not Drama

“Founded in 1980 by a handful of outdoor-oriented economists in Bozeman, Montana, PERC—the Property and Environment Research Center—is a conservation and research institute dedicated to free market environmentalism  

Colorado Man Wakes Up to Discover a Mountain Lion Eating an Elk on His Front Porch

“Yikes!”  

Drought Busters 101

“Drought Busters” is an inexpensive, quick, physiologically and economically sustainable method of habitat and wildlife restoration. We call it Drought Busters because it increases effective rainfall by rebuilding soil fertility and the soil’s ability to […]

Nevada Board Rejects Proposal to Ban Coyote Killing Contests

The article below illustrates (1) the lack of understanding of the need for predators in our natural systems, and (2) why ethical hunting must always be an essential part of our outdoor pursuits.  

Fat Bear Week: It’s Time to Weigh in on Katmai National Park’s Biggest Bear

As described below, the amount of food – in the form of migrating salmon – available to Alaska’s coastal grizzlies is amazing, as is the size many reach after a season spent gorging on live […]

Far-West Texas Mountain Wildlife 1

First in a series of game camera photos taken in Winter, 2017.   NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on May 22, 2017  

‘Silver Bullet’ for Business: The Aussie Farmers Bringing Dingoes Back

As discussed below, restoring predators in the Australian outback has had very positive effects on habitat and animals.  

Grizzly Bear in Fatal Montana Attack Was Guarding Food Cache

“In grizzly country, it is a safe bet that if you find a carcass there will be a bear close by.  

Can Beavers Restore Far-West Texas?

Two so-called invasive species, cattle and beavers, have the power to restore desert habitats.   NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on April 12, 2017.

Wolverine

Quoting the producers, “Wolverines are also referred to as the glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch. Wolverines are the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae, carnivorous mammals that include weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, […]

A Death of Ethics: Is Hunting Destroying Itself?

Quoting the article below, “Hunting historians today say Theodore Roosevelt, as a student of science, would embrace the knowledge that touts predators’ important ecological role. They say he would be opposed to predator-killing contests and […]

Woman Is Killed in Montana Bear Attack

Limited bear hunting would make bears fearful of humans. Increased fear would help prevent bear attacks like the one described below. A healthy respect for people would also make poaching bears harder.   Because hunters […]