"Removal Of Gray Wolves From US West Wreaked Havoc On Ecosystem: Study"

"The historic removal of gray wolves from the U.S. West facilitated the rise of mid-ranking predators across the region, wreaking havoc on historical ecosystem dynamics, a new study has found.

Yet just how much havoc — both to their immediate prey and much farther down the line — remains unclear due to a dearth of data, according to the study, published Wednesday in BioScience.

The disappearance of wolves particularly led to a spike in elk populations, which then damaged plant communities through overgrazing, per the study. Also of note was an upswing in medium-sized carnivores like coyotes that threaten smaller animals.

“Various national parks in the western United States, which are considered the crown jewels of American wilderness, lack their apex predators, resulting in them being shadows of their supposed ecological integrity,” the authors stated."

Sharon Udasin reports for The Hill June 19, 2024.

Source: The Hill, 06/21/2024