CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Some scientists say restoring wolves in the West could help restore the Canada lynx, a threatened species.
An article published in the journal Wildlife Society Bulletin suggests that wiping out wolves in the early 1900s allowed coyote populations to explode.
Those extra coyotes preyed heavily on the lynx’s favorite food, the snowshoe hare, as well as lynx themselves.
The scientists note that in Yellowstone National Park, where the kind of logging that damages lynx habitat is not an issue, the numbers of coyotes rose when wolves were wiped out in the early 1900s, and snowshoe hares declined. Since wolves were reintroduced, the snowshoe hare populations seem to be recovering.
The authors are from Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Wyoming.