Fear as an ecosystem engineer

This post contributed by Cristina Eisenberg, conservation biologist at Oregon State University Over the past three years I have conducted thirteen hundred focal animal observations on elk in the northern and southern Rocky Mountains. This involves patiently watching one animal at a time for up to twenty minutes and recording its wariness–that is, the amount of time it spends with its head down feeding versus head up, scanning...

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Ecosystem snapshot: reassessing the role of wolves in Yellowstone

Just off the road at sunrise between Old Faithful and Madison Junction. Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser at night. The trunks of adult quaking aspens. Bulging elk in Yellowstone taken in 1927 by S.T. Woodring. Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996. Photo taken in January 2008. According to a recent study, many aspen groves in Yellowstone National Park are failing to regenerate. Healthy quaking aspens in Salt...

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