HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Climate change insight gleaned from Yellowstone wolves

Grey wolves in the Yellowstone Park. Photograph: Mark Miller / Alamy

A recently published article in Science reports (detailed here) that scientists who have been studying the reintroduction of grey wolves into the Yellowstone National Park have developed a computer model that predicts how these wolves will respond to climate change. This model allows researchers to gauge how the grey wolves will respond behaviorally and genetically to changes in the environment.  The hope is that this model will act as a template that can be applied to determine how other animals might respond to climate change and will thus allow scientists to predict which animals will be most resilient to climate change and which animals will be most prone to the threat of extinction.  The model takes into account a number of variables including the growth rate, the relative fertility and the life span that is then used to predict if the wolves will be able to adapt, both behaviorally and genetically, quickly enough to avoid the threat of extinction.  However, the model still has large room for improvement as such factors as changes in prey populations and augmenting infectious disease risk are necessary to develop a more robust model.  In any event, the model will provide a baseline for scientists to employ in order to predict animal populations into the future.

Nick Hudson

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More Posts Like This


Heat Waves, Not a Beach Day! By City Tech Blogger Angela Knafo

Climate change has been a topic of discussion for many years now, and it has affected the whole world. With global warming increasing at a fast rate, we have experienced hotter and longer summers. While global warming is a natural occurring phenomenon, the current climate we are experiencing


Unbearable Heat Waves by City Tech Blogger Andray Whyte

Summer is hotter, winter is warmer. The world as we know it is getting hotter and hotter as the years go by. Global warming is affecting our world in a negative slope. It is affecting our lives and animals’ lives. Across the glob countries are constantly breaking records

Take action in the fight against climate change