Filtering Wildlife

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Science  23 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5990, pp. 402-403
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190095

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On 24 April 1903, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt stood before a crowd outside Gardiner, Montana, and dedicated the world's first national park as a place where “the wild creatures of the Park are scrupulously preserved…” (1). Thirty years later, scientists reported the local extinction of Yellowstone National Park's “white-tailed deer, cougar, lynx, wolf, and possibly wolverine and fisher…” (2, 3). More than 100,000 protected areas worldwide now follow in Yellowstone's footsteps, both in their goal of preserving wildlife and in the difficulties they face in achieving this goal. A growing literature highlights the diverse and complex threats faced by wildlife in protected areas, and the pressing need for better tools and monitoring programs for predicting, understanding, and addressing wildlife declines.