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Wolf reintroductions in the US. pack formation occurred within the soft release pens (YNP) ...

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British mammals!!!

2. Tutorial: Re-wilding the UK

Should we reintroduce the top predators wolf, lynx, bears Should we reintroduce keystone species the beaver, wild boar

3. Today

Background Wolf reintroductions in the US Wolves in the UK Beavers Questions to consider Reading package for Week 11 Mix of science and newspaper articles - read at least 1 science paper Tutorial - week 11 2 teams Pro- wolf No wolf No beaver vs Pro-beaver

Wolves Musiani and Paquet 2004 Have the broadest natural distribution of any mammal except humans Resilient to modest levels of human disturbance - High annual productivity (~4 pups/year per adult female) - Disperse over wide ranges (typically as much as 200 km) Hunted almost to extinction in the contiguous US and Western Europe Wolf numbers Exterminated from lower 48 states, except Minnesota Yellowstone reintroduction begins Musiani and Paquet 2004 are rebounding from very low levels in the US - natural: migration into Minnesota, Montana from Canada - reintroductions: Yellowstone, New Mexico are recovering in western Europe - natural: migration form eastern Europe But wolves compete with humans Algonquin Park example: 68% of mortality outside park, 48% of this related to seasonal movements to track deer Protection may require management inside and outside of protected areas Forbes and Theberge 1996 Prey on species humans like to hunt Can prey on lifestock wolves can be killed to protect livestock or ungulates 1949 1964 1982 1991 What do wolves need? Urquhart 1998 USGS Fact sheet 2005-3011 High ungulate density High forest cover <4 humans / km2 <0.7 km roads / km2 Low livestock density

8. Wolf reintroductions to Yellowstone National Park

BACKGROUND extirpated in region since about 1920s reintroduction first proposed in 1940s Public debate was intense local inhabitants, park users, interest groups, stakeholders, scientists Reintroductions went ahead in 1995

9. Wolf reintroductions in the US

Soft and hard released wolves produced pups in the first year

Wolf reintroductions in the US pack formation occurred within the soft release pens (YNP) and soon after release (YNP + Idaho) recovery targets had been met (30+ breeding pairs total for 3yrs running) by 2002 Population in NW US should continue to grow Population in Yellowstone isolated and nr capacity wolves alters elk behaviour & density ----> regrowth of cottonwood, willow ----> restoration of riparian habitat ----> increases songbird spp richness and diversity ----> beavers recolonize the area Impact of reintroduction on the ecosystem Wolves reduce the coyote population; ----> mesopredator release increase in fox and wolverines Wolf kills provide food ----> +ve impact on bears, eagles, ravens Impact of reintroduction on humans Wolves have spread more rapidly than expected Colonized areas outside “core habitat” —> greater contact with humans and livestock Wolves are killing livestock 88 “problem” wolves translocated 70% fail to establish or join a new pack 30-40% continue to prey on livestock, Wolves were de-listed in March 2008 hunting of wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming has resumed Wolf reintroductions to Arizona and New Mexico Mexican grey wolf Reduced to 7 individuals in 1960s ---> Captive breeding efforts increased Reintroductions commenced in 1998 First pups born in wild in 2002 But extensive wolf human conflict ---> legal trapping/shooting by government ----> illegally shooting common Why? 2/3 of wolf range is open to cattle grazing area also used for mining and recreation

14. Wolves in the UK

Once common extirpated from England and Wales in 1500’s extirpated in Highlands of Scotland in early 1700’s “the wolf was doomed to extinction because of increasing exploitation of woodlands for charcoal, a more commercial style of farming, and a big expansion of cattle droving” James Hunter, Centre for History, Inverness 2000+ Calls for “serious debate” about reintroductions

Why reintroduce wolves?

15. Natural Heritage Conservation ethics Ecological restoring the Highland’s natural integrity deer overpopulate the Highlands wolves will regulate deer allowing flora and fauna to recover Economic Conservation leadership Atonement

We like them The Wolf Trust, UK

“Serious” debate?

16. Let's declare the entire island a 'wild zone' and bring wolves, tiger, lions, T Rex, elephants, and other assorted animals here and let them run wild, slaughtering sheep, deer, mink, seagulls and those cutting peat whilst rich hunters are helicoptered in to stay in expensive private hotels guarded by 20ft of razor wire and big guys with automatic rifles. Angus Nicholson, Councillor Western Isles, Scotland on wolf ecotourism

Castor canadensis Canadian - 20 kg - 1 m

18. European beaver

Extirpated from UK in 1500’s Survived on mainland in isolated pockets (black) European augmentation and reintroductions began in 1920’s Range expanding (grey)

Why reintroduce beavers?

19. Ecological Role in riparian ecosystem Renew and recreate wetlands with benefits to frogs, toads, dragonflies, freshwater fish, water vole, otter Moral/Ethical - most large mammals have been extirpated from the UK - Scotland is “biologically impoverished” Because we can - 13+ reintroductions have been successful in Europe

We like them, too

Issues with reintroducing beavers?

20. Ecological Dams can create wetlands and lead to flooding of riparian woodlands Required aspen habitat is limited Economic Dams can close drainage canals and lead to flooding of agricultural land Moral/Ethical Conflicts with humans can lead to culling (eg Estonia - 2000/yr) is it ethical to introduce a species which then has to be controlled by culling

Current status of reintroductions in UK

21. England 2001 - Kent - 2 families introduced but failed to breed 2005 - Lancashire - 6 introduced from Bavaria - 500 acre fenced private estate - monitoring ongoing Scotland 2005 Inverness - Pair released into private loch 2005 Scottish Wildlife Trust - applied to release 20 animals in Argyle Application denied 2007 Scottish Wildlife Trust - applied again Public consultations lasted 2 months 2008 Scottish Gov’t agrees to release of 4 families in May 2009

Release would be “totally irresponsible” Robin Malcolm, Local landowner

22. Do they meet IUCN guidelines?

Wolf and beaver reintroductions in the UK need to increase number or range no risk to source population cause of decline removed sufficient protected habitat community support impact on people +ve $$$

23. Has it been too long? Can they be put back? What are your goals? Are these viable? How would you proceed? Who needs to be involved in discussions? What stock do you reintroduce? How many? How do you manage human-wildlife conflicts?

Wolf and beaver reintroductions

24. Today

Background Wolf reintroductions in the US Wolves in the UK Beavers Questions to consider Reading package Mix of science and newspaper articles - read at least 1 science paper Tutorial 2 teams Pro- wolf No wolf No beaver vs Pro-beaver

Pleistocene rewilding in North America www.rewilding.org American cheetah Pleistocene horses American camel Endangered modern replacements
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