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Predator & Prey Wolf & Deer

Predator & Prey Wolf & Deer

Author: John Lui

Understand the competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions within an ecosystem.

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How wolves changed the rivers

This video describes how wolves can impact an entire ecosystem

Nature: The Wolf That Changed America

Source: Nature

What is a key stone species?

What are Keystone Species?

The keystone at the top of an arch holds all the stones in place. Without it, the arch collapses. Healthy ecosystems needs keystones—like wolves and whitebark pines—to function. Keystone species are the architects of biodiversity.

[Ferret] Many predators are keystone species. We focus on far ranging species like wolves and bears in recognition of the complex, interactive, and vital roles these species play in predator-prey dynamics.

In the absence of wolves in Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks, elk browsed willows in river and creek bottoms excessively.  Now that wolves are back in Yellowstone, riparian areas have come alive as long-suppressed cottonwoods and willows are growing, providing vital habitat for songbirds.  Beaver have also returned, influencing water quality.  
Wolves also play an important role in regulating other predators. With fewer coyotes, antelope fawn survival has increased dramatically.

Grizzly bears
Grizzly bears play a highly complex role in ecosystems.  In addition to predation on elk and moose calves, grizzlies disperse seeds over large areas, and contribute to nutrient cycling.  Dubbed “ecosystem engineers” by some, the foraging activities of grizzly bears may build or change the ecosystem.  For example, coastal brown bears transfer salmon-derived nitrogen into riparian ecosystems when they kill, move, eat, and leave some fish in the forest. 

Source: Keystone Conservation

Myths and Facts About the Wolf

Please click on the link below and read the article about wolves.  When you are done complete the questions in the Google form below.

Wolf Myth/Fact Questions

Predator & Prey Simulation

Click on the link below for predator and prey simulation




Wisconsin DNR Deer 2016 Information

Planet Earth Predator & Prey

Source: Discovery Channel