Restoration of Large Predators: Potentials and Problems
In this chapter, the authors present some preliminary findings from their project to restore the lynx in New York State's Adirondack Park. They provide data on the bobcat and black bear to illustrate some general problems of survival encountered by large predators. Predator restoration is a recent phenomenon in wildlife conservation. Restoration of the red wolf, an endangered species, is currently underway in North Carolina. The sparse history of predator restoration provides few research results to serve as a guide. Vulnerability to human-induced mortality along vehicular access routes and human development corridors in wild areas has been shown for other large mammalian predators. Sources of mortality normally not critical to an established population may loom large for a potentially colonizing population. Human-induced mortality may be a significant negative factor for the colonizing lynx population. While the patterns of bear sensitivity to human development are not as clear in the Catskill data, the same relationships are evident as for the Adirondacks.