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The Value of the Top Predator

Science, July 27, 2007 page 438: An article titled –Aspens Return to Yellowstone, with Help from some wolves – This article discusses the unquestionable value of the top predator in a ecosystem. “Their (aspen) recovery, the researchers say, is not simply because the wolves are hunting the aspens’ archenemy, the elk; it’s also because the wolves have reintroduced the fear factor, making the elk too nervous to linger in an aspen grove and eat.” There is little doubt that this statement above is true. It is playing out in many of our own back yards by deer and geese. The article also states, that “By examining tree rings, Ripple and Larsen found that the park’s aspens had stopped regenerating soon after the 1920s—almost exactly the same date that the US Government eliminated the gray wolf from Yellowstone.”

However, there is a major flaw in this science. The wolf is not the top predator. There is no doubt that the top predator on the planet is man. The grand environmental scheme since the twenties was to limit mans ability to fill that necessary niche in nature by setting up areas where game like the elk were safe from all predators and man. How good is this research, when such an important fact is ignored. The wolves were eliminated from Yellowstone to protect humans and the other prey in the park.

If the truly top predator, man, was reintroduced into Yellowstone, the result for the aspens would be the same, and there would be no threat to the visitors to the park. It is easy for these researchers to see the damage that protecting the elk has now caused, but what kind of damage would occur if the wolves are protected in a similar manner? Stupid is as Stupid does.


A Bialystock

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