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Yellowstone's Destabilized EcosystemElk Effects, Science, and Policy Conflict$
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Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.001.0001

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The First “Experiment”: 1878–1923

The First “Experiment”: 1878–1923

Chapter:
(p.40) 4 The First “Experiment”: 1878–1923
Source:
Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem
Author(s):

Frederic H. Wagner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.003.0004

The natural-regulation hypothesis' denial that the northern herd rose to 20,000-35,000 between the 1880s and early 1900s is refuted by three lines of evidence: (1) a “reliable estimate” in 1914 of the northern herd at 27,800; (2) annual hunting kills outside the park boundary conservatively at 3,500 each year between 1918-1920, implying a herd of 70,000 if they were 5% of the herd, 35,000 if they were 10% of the herd (measured hunting removals averaged 3.7% in the 1920s, 6.9% in the 1930s); and (3) the herd rose to a census-corrected estimate of 21,660-25,920 in the 1980s and 90s, implying that it could have risen to these levels in the early 1900s with more favorable forage conditions.

Keywords:   northern herd, natural-regulation hypothesis, animal hunting, measured hunting

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