How Wolves “Change Rivers”

You may have seen this already. I decided to go ahead and post this video, even though I don’t agree with everything it suggests. For instance, it states that wolves kill coyotes, implying that, as a result, there are now lots of rabbits in Yellowstone. I’ve seen many cases of wolves getting along famously with coyotes there, and yet I haven’t noticed any real increase in rabbits (which wolves would prey on themselves, if rabbits were becoming so numerous). In many ways this is an important and effective video; I’m just saying at times it’s kind of overstated .


5 thoughts on “How Wolves “Change Rivers”

  1. “How Wolves Change Rivers” I do not find it an overstatement, rather an understatement. An on-going argument with predator and especially wolf hating ilk is that wolves kill too many elk or other ungulates and sportsmen and their very close friends in the state wildlife agencies want to control their numbers, marginalize them or wipe them out which is essentially elk farming in the wilderness. They argue that predators, wolves in particular are having a significant impact and robbing sportsmen of their elk which is an unproven myth, folklore, lie often repeated as justification for elk farming. I have always found it amazing, flabbergasting that these sportsmen and wildlife agencies think they have to manage nature, to their surmised benefit of course, and that wolves and bears and lions do not provide for healthy balance ecology. Nature has had millennium to work all this out and I am sure that Nature knows best, not man. I am not amazed that introducing wolves back into YNP and other places has changed rivers: They bring things back into balance which means changing patterns, back to the way it was, of elk, deer, bison, coyotes and have trophic effects up and down the food chain and out into the flora. It is amazing to me that state wildlife agencies do not understand this and stay out of the way of healthy balanced ecology; but then I remember that those agencies cater to sportsmen and those license fees, and I think are mostly of the same ilk, believing in sportsmen folklore, lies and myth; and then I recall the history of USA and the world in general, a history of animal genocide and especially hate and determination to wipe out the predators. That is our heritage with recent efforts by conservation groups and acts like ESA and EPA to change before it is too late. But watch out, the Tea Party and the Sportsmen Caucus in congress is trying to get back to our traditions along with bat sh– crazy states like ID-MT-WY-WI. They want to gut and do away with ESA and EPA, acts designed to protect us from ourselves, given out history of destruction of wilderness and the environment. We need to revamp if not fire and start over with the state and federal wildlife agencies and replace then with agencies that have a primary purpose of protecting wildlife and balanced ecologies and predators in particular. It is man that has a sickening effect on wilderness with sport killing, trapping, marginalizing predators and catering to sportsmen, ranchers, extraction industries, and development.

    • Anti-wolf fanatics use overstatement, exaggeration and outright lies to smear wolves any chance they get, yet wolves need only sound science in their defense. In the book, “Wolves of the Land of Salmon,” the author points out that overstatement (or in the anti-wolfers’ case, falsification) can sometimes be employed by either side:
      …[Judging from the attitudes found in] the letters to the editor in the “Wallowa Chieftain” the local paper from the vicinity of the Imnaha pack, one might think that the wolves in Wallowa County were annihilating wild game and livestock. One Joseph, Oregon, resident wrote, “At the rate that deer and elk herds are dwindling here because of unchecked wolf, cougar and coyote populations, it won’t be long until we have little or no hunting opportunities left in this area.” Others claim that wolves are part of federal government plot to further deteriorate the rights of rural residents. According to a resident in Imnaha, Oregon, “The wolf was introduced in the West to drive the livestock producers out of business. Animal activists, allied with the government, are actively working to destroy the livestock industry. The Canadian gray wolf was introduced in the West illegally and with stolen federal funds under the guise of the Endangered Species Act. The wolf is another pawn in the game to drive rural resource users off the land.” Conversely, if you read material put out by Defenders of Wildlife concerning the ecological value of wolves and related conservation issues, you wonder how a wolf can simultaneously initiate vast cascades of changes on landscape through its predation on elk and at the same time have no significant impact on elk populations. In one publication Defenders of Wildlife claims that “By preventing large herbivores such as deer and elk from becoming overpopulated, wolves help maintain native biodiversity.” Then on the next page, they state “Except when winters are extremely severe, the number of elk killed by wolves is not high enough to have a widespread biological impact on elk populations.” Both statements cite peer-reviewed scientific research (something that most material produced by anti-wolf interests neglects to do) carried out in specific locations. However, obviously both these claims cannot be true in all instances.

  2. Apparently it became viral
    I had friends who know of my
    Wolf and wildlife activism send it to me
    I think it is amazing that so many people have watched it
    Has Obama and his henchman seen it yet?
    He seems oblivious to our environment
    Sec Jewell needs to understand what she is doing in her job and take care of her brethren … Watch the movie secretary and get a clue!
    Use science !

  3. I love this video because it shows clearly how compassion towards the wolf equals compassion for the earth. You don’t even need to like wolves to get it! I like the TED talk George Monbiot (sp?) gave on which this is based too, although he takes the argument pretty far “For more wonder, rewild the earth” I think it’s called. As awareness raising education this clip is a gem, in my opinion

  4. Rewilding is very big concept and probably a great way to save this earth
    Dave Foreman is the expert on this and if you want to know more look him up and read his books…also a new book called 6th extinction discusses this concept…
    We have successfully dewilded our earth and it has brought us the mess!

    Perhaps it is time to rewild and let our ecosytem engineers like wolves wok their intrinsic magic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s