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Return of top predators is key to ecological future
Date:4/23/2010

can be specific times and situations where predators may need to be controlled. But in many cases all we need to do to bring back predators is to stop killing them. It's all about relationships. I've explained ideas about trophic cascades to third graders and they immediately get it.

"The problems are really more social, because many people have such an emotional reaction to large predators," she said. "But major predators were always a part of balanced ecosystem function, and allowing them to return will be one of the simplest, and most effective ways to restore these lands."

Much of the leading research on these concepts in terrestrial ecosystems has emerged from research at OSU in the past decade, Eisenberg said, in studies done by William Ripple and Robert Beschta in the College of Forestry. They have analyzed the impact of wolves and cougars as key predators in several national parks that, when allowed to recover, are helping restore healthy and vigorous ecosystems.

Eisenberg's new book provides both local and landscape-scale applications of what has been learned about these issues, and ways in which recovery efforts could begin.


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Contact: Cristina Eisenberg
cristina.eisenberg@oregonstate.edu
406-270-5153
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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