‘ “I’m not looking at whether this is connected to global warming,” said Doug Smith, lead biologist and team leader of the Yellowstone wolf project. Yet wolf and prey behavior is different from what it was at the beginning of wolf reintroduction to the park in 1994, because the weather is different,” he said.’
Brodie Farquhar has really put together what Doug Smith has been saying for a number of winters about the plight of the bull elk, something totally different than back in 1995-6-7-8.
Read Farquhar’s article in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune.
This is important stuff, and not discussed widely in the wildlife management literature I have read. Wildlife managers, especially those in key positions, don’t consider all the variables. Often politics prevents them from doing so.
For example when you don’t consider these likely future changes, the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear looks plenty ready to be delisted as a threatened species. When you consider global warming and the spread of diseases like whirling disease and whitebark pine blister rust, the future of the Yellowstone Country bear looks grim.
When you look at many politicians, with their narrow focus of hanging onto power, and compare them to the wildlife managers I just criticized, it is all of us for whom the future looks grim.