Group 2: Wolves and Aspen in Yellowstone
“Deep in the wilds of Venezuela, the natural order is being turned inside out. Miles of verdant forest and savannah have given way to small and scattered islands. Some of these islands are now overrun by bands of voracious howler monkeys, a glut of iguanas and hordes of ravenous ants. What is driving this bizarre transformation? A team of scientists believes that life here has run amok in large part because its top predators are gone. Similarly, the majestic wilderness of Yellowstone National Park is also showing signs of change that some scientists trace to the depletion of natural predators. Familiar and revered forests have vanished. Researchers are linking these forest losses to the expulsion of the gray wolf some seventy years ago. In Venezuela and around the world, experts are learning that predators seem to play a crucial role in the structure and function of entire ecosystems. When the predators disappear, the consequences can be dramatic. If predators are so vital, should they — and can they — be brought back?”

· Explain the loss of Aspen trees and loss of willow groves in Yellowstone.
· How did scientists connect this loss to wolves in Yellowstone?
· How are ranchers coping with the reintroduction of wolves?
· What is happening in Idaho and Montana? (See story below)
· How does your team feel about the story in Idaho and Montana? You can give pros and cons.

No comments here. 0/75 points.

Since the students did not post here, please read the information on this webpage:
Strange Days Predator

The NPR story above said that Idaho is allowing hunting of gray wolves. Hunters can kill up to 1/4 of the state's 850 wolves. Read the article and decide whether you think this is a good or bad thing and put it into your reflection.