OSHR 3045 - Have Wolves Saved the Willows in Yellowstone? (PERK SERIES Lecture)

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995-96 easily ranks among the greatest successes in conservation of North America. The long absence of an apex predator from the Yellowstone ecosystem allowed elk populations to increase dramatically. Excessive grazing and browsing by elk that went unchecked by predation initiated a chain of events that changed the face of the landscape.

Our research team has conducted an unusual, decadal experiment to understand how disturbance by beaver and browsing by elk interact to control willow growth. We offer an unambiguous answer to the question, "Have wolves saved the willows?"

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.