Wolves Benefit Bears
The science continues to reinforce it: the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, after an absence of about 70 years, has had a slew of benefits for all kinds of other species, including beavers and willows, and now we can add grizzly bears (another threatened species) to the list. A new study shows that having more wolves in Yellowstone has increased an important food source for grizzly bear: berries.
When wolves disappeared from the region, the area’s elk herds grew dramatically. Elk eat some of the same plants that bears rely on for berries, and with so many more elk in the park, most of those plants were over-foraged, leaving little to nothing left over for bears. Since wolves were reintroduced and began to prey on elk herds, these over-foraged plants have had a chance to grow back, providing more berries for hungry grizzlies looking to fatten themselves up before winter.
Not only does this study illustrate the importance of having apex predators like wolves in an ecosystem, but as our chief scientist Chris Haney told Northwest Public Radio, more science on grizzly bears can only help conservation efforts for that species as well.
New Additions to Oregon Wolves
Remote cameras snapped this shot confirming three new pups for Oregon’s newest wolf pack, the Mt. Emily pack. This means there are a total of seven wolf packs in Oregon with pups – good news for wolf recovery in the Pacific Northwest!
The Clock is Ticking
Today is day 50 of the 90-day comment period on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist nearly all gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states. There’s no word yet on when and where the public hearings on this issue will take place, but we’re working hard to make sure that the Service hears from wildlife biologists, legal experts, wildlife advocates and other conservation groups that gray wolf recovery is not complete, and this delisting could endanger the progress we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.
Click here to see how you can get involved in the efforts to fight this delisting proposal!