When posting about the importance of top predators, and the benefit for instance of having the wolves back in Yellowstone, one of Earthwise Aware
's followers mentioned that bison culls do more than having wolves back.
Let’s dig this a little on the topic...
About Wolf vs. Bison cull?
The point of this video is rather likely to focus on the wolf and not really the park. And rather to use the park as an illustration of how wolves are beneficial to large ecosystems. The truth is that the vast majority of people still demonize the wolf and big predators in general.
The bison cull is a tough issue, and its purpose is at least 2 folds: containing the brucellosis
disease, and alleviating a very human made problem > the fact that bisons are not allowed to migrate as their ancestors did. There is intolerance from the human population regarding these massive animals. So we surround and enclose them in the limit of a geographic area (the park), that is radically smaller than what their migration territory was. At 7.5 billion of individuals from our species, that’s barely a surprise that the confinement of the other species to small areas leads to an unbalance that we would try to fix ourselves. Now if we tried to bring more wolves and other top predators to regulate those bison populations, then how many predators would you need to get those populations down? And then what would happen to the surplus of wolves? (most likely a cull)…
Cristina Eisenberg (EarthWatch’s chief scientist) says on the bison cull topic: “There are people who think that we should just protect everything and we can’t ever have too many”… “But nature had its own balance, and we’ve removed the ability of systems to function within that equilibrium. Now we have to play god.” Though we’re lousy gods —with Science, history, and ethics concurring…
Indeed we are poor substitutes for the Nature system functions as in the case of culling. The impact of a cull on an ecosystem is different than the result of natural predation, diseases and various functions (biomass recycling, etc.), we scientifically know that. Culling is one result of increasing interaction between humans and wild animals, not because there is more wildlife (totally the opposite) but because there is more and more of us.
Culling is a human solution to a human problem, and of course it’s going to be tough to come to term with it. Actually we should never come to term with it and accept the opposition as part of a healthy process. Its opponents play important role: anything that has to do with artificial death should be questioned. Opponents are the check and balance of this practice.