Unintended Consequences – Protecting wild predators can lead to problems

Seals ripping head offThat is, a recovering predator population can increase competition with humans for the same prey; it can start eating individuals of a protected prey species; or it can pit multiple predator populations in competition for the same limited prey. Or it can do all three. In the northeastern Pacific Ocean, for example, commercial harvests of king salmon have declined from historic levels, in part to protect declining wild-salmon populations, seven of which have Endangered Species Act protection. Meanwhile, the ecosystem’s seals and sea lions, which were once killed commercially, are now protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Read the rest here 20:48

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