Gray wolf effects on ecological communities
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 6, 2008
Yellowstone wolf insider Nathan Varley's fall 2007 PhD thesis from the University of Alberta is called "Gray wolf effects on ecological communities."
Here's a small part of Varley's abstract: "Wolves (Canis lupus) are being restored to many parts of their former range. With this, ecologists will have the opportunity to better understand the direct and indirect effects of wolves on communities. Simulation models can be used to predict direct effects of wolves on prey. A stochastic predator-prey model was used to predict the demographic outcome of wolf restoration on elk (Cervus elaphus) and human harvest of elk in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), USA. Wolf predation resulted in a moderate (14-21%) reduction in long-term elk abundance that was sufficient to maintain a conservative harvest. Together, wolf predation and hunter harvest provided a stabilizing influence that reduced the incidence of severe weather-driven population declines."
Click on the link below to get to Varley's entire thesis.