Wolf Reintroductions

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Wolves were once the most widely distributed mammal on the planet. With their exceptional ability to adapt, wolves occupied almost every habitat except tropical jungles. But with the arrival of humans, wolves numbers diminished. Systematic eradication programs were aimed at top predators; this, along with over-hunting of prey populations and habitat loss due to population encroachment, wolves were eliminated from most of the contiguous United States by the 1940s. In 1973 wolves were finally put under the protection by the Endangered Species Act, and just recently wolf populations are increasing due to wolf recovery and reintroduction projects.

Within the continental United States, gray wolves once ranged from East Coast to West Coast, and from Canada to Mexico. Today only about 2,200 wolves live in the wild in Minnesota, fewer than twenty on Lake Superior's Isle Royale, about 120 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, 120 in Wisconsin, and about 240 in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Now staff members at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are trying to raise wolf numbers by working to reintroduce them in their parks. The Wolf Trust, and The Highland Wolf Fund are trying to reintroduce wolves worldwide. The reintroductions of wolves at Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks have already begun; to date, about 115-120 wolves inhabit Yellowstone. Around the World, groups are still trying to gain public support and allowance from the Government to begin the reintroduction programs in their areas.

The project at Yellowstone was met with some apprehension. Biologists there feared that without the fear of predation during the past few generations, the resident moose at Yellowstone would not fear the wol...

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...d have nothing left to eat, and they would die. An environment without wolves is something that we cannot afford.

We've lost too many species already, let's not repeat our mistakes. It is our fear and carelessness that caused the wolves to be eradicated from the United States and other countries around the world; let's not let our false fears or indifference deepen the wound we've created. 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.
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