Carnivores in Ecosystems: The Yellowstone Experience

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For forty years scientists have intensively studied carnivores of the Yellowstone ecosystem--an array of species ranging from grizzly bears, gray wolves, and mountain lions to coyotes, red foxes, river otters, badgers, and skunks. This book presents current knowledge about the ecology, status, conservation, and management of these charismatic animals and analyzes the broader implications for other ecosystems.
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Overview

For forty years scientists have intensively studied carnivores of the Yellowstone ecosystem--an array of species ranging from grizzly bears, gray wolves, and mountain lions to coyotes, red foxes, river otters, badgers, and skunks. This book presents current knowledge about the ecology, status, conservation, and management of these charismatic animals and analyzes the broader implications for other ecosystems.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Edited by a group of scholars, this collection of essays traces the history of carnivorous wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, an area of almost eight million hectares in the mountains of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The area is relatively wild and intact and still supports the full range of carnivores that were present before Europeans arrived on the continent. Over the last century, many researchers have studied the carnivorous animal populations of the Yellowstone area, so there is a significant body of knowledge about these predators; the goal of this book is to integrate and synthesize that knowledge, so that managers and decision-makers can access it more effectively. Written by experts in wildlife and ecosystem management, the collected essays are thoroughly researched; and authors are careful to consider the political and public relations aspects of wildlife management as well. Because of its scholarly approach, this book will be of interest mainly to those concerned with wildlife conservation and ecosystem management, or those in the Greater Yellowstone area.--Deborah Emerson, Monroe Community Coll. Lib., Rochester, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Marc Bekoff
Yellowstone National Park, incredibly rich in flora and fauna, is a major attraction for scientists and tourists from all over the world. Indeed, because of overwhelming and often destructive human intrusions, much of the park has been heavily managed by humans, and questions about just how "natural" the park is have come under careful scrutiny. The editors claim that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is "relatively wild and intact" (p 1).

The globally unique GYE, about eight million hectares in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, is home to numerous carnivores including such charismatic species as gray wolves, grizzly and black bears, as well as coyotes, red foxes, river otters, lynx, and mountain lions. Carnivores are an integral part of numerous ecosystems, and this book is a timely and invaluable source. Each of the twelve chapters (accompanied by extensive reference lists) is written by experts with much field experience. Essays cover such topics as: a history of attitudes toward carnivores in the GYE; bears; human influences on cougars; wolves; coyotes and wolves (wolves have killed numerous coyotes after being reintroduced); the effects of wildfire on carnivore predation on ungulates; the prey base of carnivores; genetics and carnivore conservation; and an historical perspective on carnivore research and conservation. The importance of social, economic, and political factors in managing and conserving carnivores is rightfully stressed. Despite a wealth of information on the behavior, ecology, genetics, and population biology of carnivores, their fate remains questionable and perhaps even perilous, because of human resistance to their presence, often motivated by fear, greed and ignorance.

The editors and contributors conclude that the GYE carnivores must be protected, more data are needed concerning relationships between carnivores and other taxa, information from various disciplines and different trophic levels needs to be better integrated, science and management must work with (and not against) one another, more expertise in modeling the complexity of ecosystems is needed, and that gaining broad and enduring public support is of utmost importance. This fine book is a must read for those interested not only in these magnificent mammals, but also many other species. The wide-ranging topics and pluralistic views serve as models for what can be done for many other species, even those that are less soft and cuddly than carnivores.
— Quarterly Review of Biology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300078169
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/1999
  • Pages: 446
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

A Model Ecosystem for Carnivores in Greater Yellowstone
/ Tim W. Clark, Steven C. Minta, A. Peyton Curlee, Peter M. Kareiva
\ 1-9
Greater Yellowstone Carnivores: A History of Changing Attitudes
/ Paul Schullery, Lee H. Whittlesey
\ 11-49
Yellowstone Bears
/ Richard R. Knight, Bonnie M. Blanchard, Paul Schullery
\ 51-75
The Ecology of Anthropogenic Influences on Cougars
/ Kerry M. Murphy, P. Ian Ross, Maurice G. Hornocker
\ 77-101
Wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Restoration of a Top Carnivore in a Complex Management Environment
/ Douglas W. Smith, Wayne G. Brewster, Edward E. Bangs
\ 103-125
Coyotes and Canid Coexistence in Yellowstone
/ Robert L. Crabtree, Jennifer W. Sheldon
\ 127-163
Mesocarnivores of Yellowstone
/ Steven W. Buskirk
\ 165-187
Predicting the Effects of Wildfire and Carnivore Predation on Ungulates
/ Francis J. Singer, John A. Mack
\ 189-237
Small Prey of Carnivores in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
/ Kurt A. Johnson, Robert L. Crabtree
\ 239-263
Evaluating the Role of Carnivores in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
/ Mark S. Boyce, Eric M. Anderson
\ 265-283
Genetic Consideration for Carnivore Conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
/ F. Lance Craighead, Michael E. Gilpin, Ernest R. Vyse
\ 285-321
Carnivore Research and Conservation: Learning from History and Theory
/ Steven C. Minta, Peter M. Kareiva, A. Peyton Curlee
\ 323-404
List of Contributors
/ 405-413
Index
/ 415-429
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