An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator or top predator, is a predator at the top of a food chain, without natural predators. They are usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics, meaning that they occupy the highest trophic levels. The apex predator concept is applied in wildlife management, conservation and ecotourism.

Apex predators can have profound effects on ecosystems, as the consequences of both controlling prey density and restricting smaller predators, and may be capable of self-regulation. They are central to the functioning of ecosystems, the regulation of disease, and the maintenance of biodiversity.

Humans have for many centuries interacted with apex predators including the wolf, birds of prey and cormorants to hunt game animals, birds, and fish respectively. More recently, humans have started interacting with apex predators in new ways. These include interactions via ecotourism, such as with the tiger shark, and through rewilding efforts, such as the proposed reintroduction of the lynx.

Mesopredators, such as coyotes are typically outcompeted by top carnivores, such as wolves and cougars for food and other resources.

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