Book Review: The Wolf's Tooth

A canid biologist considers a new book about the ecological impacts of returning America's predators to their ancestral lands

David Ausband
Aug 19, 2010
I love a good story. Someone can stand up at a conference, give a talk largely unsupported by data and lacking even the remotest truth, but if they do a good job relaying a story to me, well, I'm hooked. That's my vice. So it should come as no surprise that as a canid biologist, the theory of trophic cascades -- the focus of conservation biologist linkurl:Cristina Eisenberg's;http://cristinaeisenberg.com/ new book, linkurl:__The Wolf's Tooth__;http://islandpress.org/bookstore/details9e95-2.html -- very much appeals to my love of a good story.
Trophic cascade theory would say that wolves reintroduced into Rocky Mountain ecosystems would reduce elk numbers and alter elk behavior thereby changing the plant communities elk feed upon, with the other animals that depend on these plant communities -- say, beavers, amphibians and songbirds -- ultimately benefiting. Eisenberg argues that by maintaining large predators at the top of the food chain the trickle down effects of...




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