Wolf Impact Re-assessed
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
January 15, 2014
At least one expert has suggested that scientists have become so attached to the iconic cachet of the wolf story that they credit the species with ecological roles beyond what the research demonstrates. Take the trophic cascade theory for wolves in Yellowstone:
"The story of wolves in Yellowstone has been made true by repeated telling, not by good science," said Tom Hobbs, an ecologist at Colorado State University who studies how willows are responding to the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone. "The trophic cascade story is stated as if it is undisputed fact, but it is not. Itís a lovely story, a simple clear one. But in reality, it is more nuanced, more complex, and it may even be dead wrong."
To read more, check out the current issue of Western Confluence magazine, a project of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.