The Utopian Suggestion of Natural Predator Reintroduction

Jonathan Vandina

The deer population in the Northeast has exploded. Some maintain that one of the reasons is due to the previous housing boom. During the boom, thousands of acres of land were cleared with the intentions of building homes that were never built.  This cleared land permitted sunlight to hit the ground, which facilitated grass growth leading to the population explosion.

There are more deer in the Northeast today than there were when the settlers first arrived. Although development and land clearing may be partially to blame, we cannot forget the fact that humans also extirpated the main predator, mountain lions (Puma concolor). Due to the over-explosion of deer, the lack of natural predators and the inability of the land to sustain them, many of these animals will die slow deaths of starvation. Sick deer may also spread disease which can adversely affect the rest of the population.  Although hunting may eliminate a small portion of this manmade suffering, some people claim there is a better way; that is to reintroduce their natural predators. Continue reading