The Ecological Role of Large Carnivores



Some animals become our teachers and guides—if we let them. Pluie the wolf (Canis lupus) was such an animal. She taught us that parks and protected areas, no matter how large, aren’t big enough to meet all the needs of large carnivores. But with her return to places where wolves had existed, she and others of her kind also began to teach us essential lessons about why we need wolves to have healthy ecosystems. In her travels during the early 1990s, Pluie moved through much of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. At some points along her journey, she came very close to where my family and I live, although we had no way of knowing that then. But others like her returned to our valley at about the same time and taught us important life lessons.


Trophic Cascade Large Carnivore Wolf Population Grizzly Bear North Fork 
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© Cristina Eisenberg 2014

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