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In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone

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In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2015, 06:13
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In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone Park, where the wolf had been eliminated intentionally half a century earlier. Rangers expected a rise in the number of wolf would place limits on the elk population and on the populations of many mid-size mammals. One unexpected consequence was a dramatic rise in the population of foxes, which in turn helped to control many rodent populations.

Which of the following, if true, most helps explain the dramatic rise in the fox population?

A) Foxes are too small to hunt elk
B) Foxes choose very different breeding area than do wolves
C) The main predators of the fox were coyotes, on which the wolf preys.
D) Elk hunting is more popular, and more widely marketable, than is fox hunting
E) In the agricultural counties surrounding Yellowstone, there are significantly lower wolf and fox populations.

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Re: In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2015, 08:48
In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone Park, where the wolf had been eliminated intentionally half a century earlier.
Rangers expected a rise in the number of wolf would place limits on the elk population and on the populations of many mid-size mammals.
One unexpected consequence was a dramatic rise in the population of foxes, which in turn helped to control many rodent populations.

what help they expected from Wolf came from fox along with rise in fox population.

Which of the following, if true, most helps explain the dramatic rise in the fox population?

A) Foxes are too small to hunt elk
(We are not interested in size and this only exaggerates the paradox.)
B) Foxes choose very different breeding area than do wolves
(This does not help to address the paradox anyway OFS)
C) The main predators of the fox were coyotes, on which the wolf preys.
(This is the reason which can explain the reason why fox population increased)
D) Elk hunting is more popular, and more widely marketable, than is fox hunting
(Popularity is not of concern here. OFS)
E) In the agricultural counties surrounding Yellowstone, there are significantly lower wolf and fox populations.[/quote]
(this does not explain anything as wolf and fox populations are considered together and does not explain paradox)
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Re: In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 19:14

Official Explanation


Wolfs are introduced, and predictably, elk decline. But, paradoxically, foxes prosper. What about the presence of the wolf in Yellowstone could cause the fox population to rise?

(C) is the credited response. Wolf eat coyote, so there are fewer coyote to eat foxes. This provides a clear connection between the introduction of wolf and the rise of foxes.

(A) is irrelevant. Telling us what the foxes don't eat doesn't explain their rise.

(B) is irrelevant. They won't compete with the wolf for breeding area, so in this respect, the introduction of the wolf doesn't hurt the foxes, but it doesn't explain their rise.

(D) is irrelevant. If fox hunting is not popular or widely marketable, that removes a possible threat, but it doesn't explain their dramatic rise.

(E) provides weak support. The fact that both wolf and foxes are found in lower numbers elsewhere suggests a correlation, but it doesn't provide a causal connection. (C) is a much stronger answer than (E).
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Re: In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2018, 19:14
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In 1995, ecologists started to reintroduce the wolf into Yellowstone

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