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Teddy Roosevelt, in the early 20th century, believed that predators were "bad."  He initiated the slaughter of big cats, wolves, and bears all over the American West.  As a result of no predator pressure, the elk population around Yellowstone Park soared, and hundreds of thousands died of starvation.  You can still see the high water mark of chewed bark (a starvation food) on aspen trees all over the West.  In 1995, grey wolves were reintroduced into the Yellowstone ecosystem and wildlife researchers rushed to study them, tagging a a number of animals and observing their behavior, as well as their impact on elk and other mammals.  A $480,000 NSF funded wolf study project is now in jeopardy with the hunting deaths of a number of Yellowstone wolves who wandered into Montana and were shot by hunters.

One dead wolf was the alpha female (radio collar tag No. 527F) of the Cottonwood pack.  Wolves bring tourists into the area and have been able to control the previous population booms and busts of the elk.  Now that is all in jeopardy, as the wolf pack will break up, younger wolves will wander farther away, and end up killing more elk, which will hurt hunting.  Stupid, idiotic goddam morons.  Read the whole story in Science, vol. 326, p. 506, 23 Oct 2009.

Originally posted to CT yanqui on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 05:31 PM PST.

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