Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Wolf Hunting


Reply

It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:12 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,046
It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .

I read the following and found a concern imbedded within. Would have simply link to it but wanted to highlight the concern.

Also this could be a seed that should cause elimination of the wolf again and consider animal harvesting/hunting in Yellowstone.

Bold and rolleye's are mine.
************************************************** *******************
Are Wolves Saving Yellowstone's Aspen Trees from Elk? (:rolleyes

ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2010) Previous research has claimed that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 is helping restore quaking aspen in risky areas where wolves prowl. But apparently elk hungry for winter food had a different idea. They did not know they were supposed to be responding to a "landscape of fear."

According to a study set to be published in Ecology, a journal of the Ecological Society of America, the fear of wolf predation may not be discouraging elk from eating aspen trees after all.

Previous thinking went like this: Aspen are not regenerating well in Yellowstone National Park. Elk eat young aspen. But wolves eat elk. Elk will learn to avoid high-risk areas that wolves frequent. Plants in those areas -- such as aspen -- will then get a chance to grow big enough so that elk cannot kill them. Eventually, an entire habitat is restored because of a landscape of fear.

Over the last 15 years, the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone was heralded as a great success, not only because it reestablished the species, but also because wolves were expected to help restore a healthier ecosystem through such cascading indirect effects on other species.

But this recent study led by Matthew Kauffman, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, suggests that aspen are not benefitting from the landscape of fear created by wolves, and that claims of an ecosystem-wide recovery of aspen are premature.
"This study not only confirms that elk are responsible for the decline of aspen in Yellowstone beginning in the 1890s, but also that none of the aspen groves studied after wolf restoration appear to be regenerating, even in areas risky to elk," said Kauffman.

Because the fear of wolves does not appear to be benefiting aspen, the authors conclude that if the Northern Range elk population does not continue to decline -- their numbers are 40 percent of what they were before wolves -- many of Yellowstone's aspen stands are unlikely to recover. "A landscape-level aspen recovery is likely only to occur if wolves, in combination with other predators and climate factors, further reduce the elk population," Kauffman said.

Predators play an important role in ecosystems, said Kauffman, and can influence plants by altering how many herbivores there are (by eating the herbivores) or by changing the behavior of herbivores (deterring them from areas where predators lurk). He adds, however, that considerable scientific debate exists regarding the importance of these two ways in which predators influence their prey. And this is especially true for large carnivores.

To complicate matters, predators use different hunting strategies -- there is the sit-and-wait strategy (as with a spider in a web, or a rattlesnake waiting for a mouse to leave its burrow) and the more active, go get 'em strategy (think cheetahs and wolves). "So, given that it takes a lot of energy to avoid a predator -- energy that could be used to stave off winter starvation -- we wanted to find out whether the prey of active-hunting predators such as wolves demonstrated risk-induced changes in areas where they foraged for food," Kauffman said.

To do this, the authors analyzed tree rings to discern when, in the last century, aspen stands stopped regenerating, examined whether aspen stands have begun to regenerate now that wolves have been reintroduced to the park and tested whether any differences in aspen regeneration were occurring in areas considered safe or risky for foraging elk. They used a landscape-wide risk map of elk killed by wolves over the first 10 years of wolf recovery. Finally, the authors experimentally fenced in young aspen suckers to compare the protection afforded to them by wolves versus that of a physical barrier that prevented elk browsing.

"The results were surprising and have led us to refute several previous claims regarding interactions among wolves, elk and aspen in Yellowstone," Kauffman said.
The tree rings showed that the period when aspen failed to regenerate (1892 to 1956) lasted more than 60 years, spanning periods with and without wolves by several decades. "We concluded from this that the failure of aspen to regenerate was caused by an increase in the number of elk following the disappearance of wolves in the 1920s rather than by a rapid behavioral shift to more browsing on aspen once wolves were gone from the park," said Kauffman.

Surveys of current conditions indicated that aspen in study stands exposed to elk browsing were not growing to heights necessary to make them invulnerable to elk. The only places where suckers survived to reach a height sufficient to avoid browsing were in the fenced-in areas. In addition, aspen stands identified as risky from the predation risk map were browsed just as often as aspen growing in less risky areas.

"This work is consistent with much of what researchers have learned from studying wolves and elk in Yellowstone," Kauffman said. "Elk certainly respond behaviorally to the predation risk posed by wolves, but those small alterations to feeding and moving across the landscape don't seem to add up to long-term benefits for aspen growing in areas risky to elk."

The paper, "Are wolves saving Yellowstone's aspen? A landscape-level test of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade," will be published online in Ecology. Co-authors on the study are Matthew Kauffman (USGS), Jedediah Brodie (University of Montana) and Erik Jules (Humboldt State University).
__________________
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:09 AM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 78
Re: It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .

This is funny because the proscribed management tool for aspen is a clearcut! It exposes the roots when the machine tires travel over them, thus creating a very thick regrowth. You cant see 10 ft in front of you within a couple years. Great habitat, but logging is not pc, so instead you get forest management by tools for tools.
__________________
Bullets have well documented performance specifications.

Min Velocity info is available, and describes the performance floor of the bullet... DON'T allow yourself to reference F.P.E. as an accurate descriptor of killing power.. You are smarter than a copy editor, and you understand that you can determine maximum (reliable) effective range by comparing your drop chart to published bullet data....... And, dog-on-it, people like you!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 06:32 AM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 105
Re: It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .

Fire seems to work as well. worked for thousands of years before smokey the bear started stomping them out.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:54 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: ND
Posts: 2,664
Re: It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenautique View Post
Fire seems to work as well. worked for thousands of years before smokey the bear started stomping them out.
LL
__________________

I'm 15
"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
~George Washington

"The only advantage a light rifle has is weight, all other advantages go to the heavy rifle."
~ JE CUSTOM

"Dope that scope and tickle that giggle switch"

~Doublezranch

Biggest fail of 2014 so far... http://www.longrangehunting.com/foru...ea-ftf-128972/
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: It may be that further reduction of Park Elk is in the future. . .
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Edworthy Park - Calgary Slopeshunter General Discussion 0 07-25-2011 10:21 PM
Newbie from Iowa Park TX DavidW Member Introductions 2 02-07-2009 12:02 PM
Vermejo Park Elk Trip 8404Vet Long Range Hunting & Shooting 5 12-28-2007 05:54 PM

Current Poll
Spot & Stalk or Ambush For Western Deer?
MOSTLY - Spot & Stalk - 73.63%
1,005 Vote
MOSTLY - Ambush - 26.37%
360 Votes
Total Votes: 1,365
You may not vote on this poll.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC