Since the wolf is under the protection of Endangered Species Act a person could be punished with up to a $100,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail for killing a wolf. Back in the 1850's there was a major population increase of the wolves in America, this was due to settlers moving west. These settlers killed more than 80 million bison, the wolves started to scavenge on the carcasses left behind. By the 1880's the majority of the bison were gone, so the wolves had to change food sources. This meant that they turned their attention to domestic livestock, causing farmers and ranchers to fight back.
Yellowstone has given us an example to follow, we now know that reintroductions can be done safely, and that wolves can coexist with humans. I believe that wolves are a very important part of our environment, and other environments as well. The United States should be working to reintroduce wolves throughout the country, repaying the wrong that we did in the past. Maybe then, other Countries will follow our example, and the wolves will then return to the grandeur they once had.
Without a doubt, the white-tail deer should be hunted. First, the population of the white-tail deer is entirely too big. In fact, there is a total of twenty-five million white-tail deer in the United States alone.1 Because of this enormous number of deer, they are constantly on the move. This means that they go straight to the roads. Ten thousand white-tail deer get hit by cars and die each year while they try to find new eating grounds.2 Not only is this wasting meat, but it causes severe damage to cars.
Many wolves were removed from regions where they weren’t even threats to humans or livestock (Klinghammer 446) because wolves, like grizzlies, were perceived as competitors for land and food. Unlike grizzly bears, wolves didn’t survive in the Northern Rocky Mountains because of poisonings, shootings, and bounties for their pelts (Barker 177). These actions caused the extinction of wolves in western states, changing the ecosystems by eliminating a natural predator. The reasons for this genocide, according to David Mech, were “the possible predation by the wolf upon man. .
This is a misdemeanor. Wolves hunt deer, rabbits, moose, and other animals (“Wolf”). Because most of the animals they hunt are in fact larger than them, the sickly, inferior, or downright small are targeted since wolves track then kill prey up to ten times their size with their teeth(“All about Wolves”). This makes the hunted animals population stronger. While wolf hunting habits are a prime example of natural selection, human hunters are the opposite.
Nearly 30% of the White Bark Pines in these areas have been killed and more than 70% of the remaining, living trees are infected. In the past five years Blister Rust has been seen in Gallatin National Forest, just south of Yellowstone, where Yellowstone grizzlies often forage for food. How does this threat to the White Bark Pine Tree also threaten Grizzly Bears? In two ways. First since the White Bark Pine Tree provides as much as 40% of the fat requirement of grizzlies, the loss of the White Bark Pine directly threatens the fertility of female grizzlies.
The following factors are responsible for their decline. Hunting, loss of habitat, and just plain apathy on part of the public to preserve the bio diversity of our land. During 1994/95, a total of 19,430 bear hunting licenses were issued to both residential and non-residential people. There were 3,790 so-called legal bear kills in BC alone. It is estimated that out of every one legally killed bear be it grizzly or black two are killed illegally by poachers primarily just for their paws, head, gall bladder, and reproductive organs.
The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park did not end the debate of whether wolves should stay or go. Advocates for wolf reintroduction say the wolves control elk and deer population numbers; preventing the destruction of ranchers cattle and the land. Opponents say the wolves kill elk and deer that could be hunted. Ranchers fear the wolves will kill their livestock decreasing profits. Wolves are a natural mean of controlling the number of deer, elk, and other large game in an environment.
But as settlers pursued them for food and market hunters slaughtered them with snares, traps, and set guns, the deer population underwent a disastrous decline. By 1900, only 400,000 whitetails remained. What happened ever since 1900 has truly become a huge conservation success story. Through a massive effort by sportsmen and wildlife managers, market hunting was outlawed, sport-hunting regulations were established, and habitat improvement programs began. Because of the efforts of these concerned people the whitetail population has risen to around 20 million.
Another example is from “In the Valley of the Wolves,” “… wolves affect elk; elk affect aspen; and therefore wolves affect aspen” (In the Valley”). In other words, if there were no wolves to eat the elk, there would be more elk eating the aspen, and aspen is a huge factor in Yellowstone’s ecosystem. Without the gray wolf, Yellowstone’s ecosystem might function, but not to the best of its abilities. In comparison, wolves were gone from Yellowstone for more than 70 years. While they were gone, the ecosystem continued to function properly.