Protect rare gray wolf.

Wolf is unique and very important part in maintaining ecosystem and overall health of wildlife.

They help keep large herd animal populations in check, which can benefit numerous other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, most notably other scavengers. Indeed, scientists are just beginning to understand the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/california-considers-protecting-rare-gray-wolf/article_98617556-c58f-11e3-b1e5-0019bb2963f4.html

Wolf is unique and very important part in maintaining ecosystem and overall health of wildlife.


They help keep large herd animal populations in check, which can benefit numerous other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, most notably other scavengers. Indeed, scientists are just beginning to understand the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.


Scientists are just beginning to understand the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.


 


        The near extinction of the gray wolf across most of the West in the past century now appears to have removed the natural element of "fear" from these ecosystems. It has triggered a cascade of ecological effects on everything from elk populations to beaver, birds, fish, and even stream systems - and helped lead directly to the collapsing health of aspen and some other tree species and vegetation.


        Two recent studies by forestry scientists from Oregon State University, published in the journals Bio Science and Forest Ecology and Management, outline a role for the gray wolf that is complex and rarely understood, but helps explain many major problems facing western streams, forests and wildlife.


     "It would appear that the loss of a keystone predator, the gray wolf, across vast areas of the American West may have set the stage for previously unrecognized and unappreciated ecological changes in riparian and upland plant communities, and the functions they provide," the scientists concluded.


     The studies were authored by William Ripple, a professor, and Robert Beschta, a professor emeritus, in the OSU College of Forestry.


In their research, the scientists explore a concept that has been called "the ecology of fear."

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