Animal Jurisprudence

by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer. AFTER co-authoring a 2005 paper imagining “Re-wilding  North America” with giant Bolson tortoises, camels, horses, cheetahs, elephants and lions, Harry Greene received a lot of hate mail. Corresponding ecologists hated the idea of deliberate transcontinental introductions of any kind. The plan smacked of impractical, dangerous, hubris and many ecologists didn’t buy African elephants and...

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Seeing (less) red: Bark beetles and global warming

This post contributed by Jesse A. Logan, retired research entomologist living in Emigrant, Montana. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is an ecological reserve of regional, national and international significance. This collection of National Parks, National Forests, wildlife reserves and tribal lands is generally recognized as one of the last remaining large, nearly intact, ecosystems of the Earth’s northern temperate...

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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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