This Will Shatter Your View of Apex Predators: How Wolves Change Rivers

via National Geographic

This may be one of the most important conservation concepts to come out of natural science in the last half century. The thing about this case study is that the same can be applied to apex predators around the world: lions in Africa, tigers in Asia. Sharks, bears, and wild dogs are all species sitting at the top of their respective food chains, creating stability amongst the species they prey on and maintaining the health of plants and animals right down the trophic ladder.

The sad part is that some of these apex predators are in decline, sometimes jeopardising ecosystems on which they and other species rely.

With all this in mind, it’s time for us humans to adjust our perception of predators in general. We can’t be agreeing to mass culling of sharks as has recently been sanctioned in western Australia. (Also see: Western Australia’s Controversial Shark Cull Claims First Casualty)

Human/wildlife conflict is a reality of growing populations around the world, and the fact is that we need to learn to live beside wildlife if we are to maintain our wonderful thriving ecosystems in the future.

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  • drokhole

    Same principles are mimicked and put to work in Joel Salatin’s rotational grazing of cattle:

    http://disinfo.com/2013/10/send-cows-reverse-desertification-build-soils-sequester-carbon/

    Also recommend a book that examines these complex, diverse, and integrated relationships not only in the environment “out there,” but in and on our own bodies:

    The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Wild-Life-Our-Bodies/dp/006180648X

  • Oginikwe

    The irony is that we are the species that needs to be culled.

    • Damien Quinn

      You go first, I’ll be along shortly.

      • Oginikwe

        I’m being culled daily, thanks.

    • NuMonkey

      But it would influence the course of rivers…!

  • paulyhart

    mind = blown

  • Jin The Ninja

    “With all this in mind, it’s time for us humans to adjust our perception of predators in general.”

    typical limp rhetoric from National G.

    what this changes, actually, is the paradigm of humanity as the apex predator. we don’t balance ecosystems, we destroy them.

    • echar

      I think it would have been better if they had specified animal predators. Good catch.

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