Supported by


How Do We Solve the Problem of Predators?

Jul 01, 2019 | 72 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Humans don’t have a great track record of coexisting with top predators, and wolves are no exception. By the early 1900s, wolves were nearly extinct in all of western Europe as a result of government programs that rewarded people for killing them. While the animals’ population numbers dwindled, humans got used to life without them—despite the fact that their status as top predators means they have a positive impact on the ecosystem.

“Predators are a wicked conservation problem because they don’t return direct benefits to people,” says Michelle Nijhuis, a science journalist. “We have to figure out how to share the inevitable burden that comes with living with predators.”

Can we save wolves, or will they fall prey to us?

Life Up Close is a project of The Atlantic, supported by the HHMI Department of Science Education.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Author: Elyse Kelly

About This Series

Short, animated videos from The Atlantic