Wolves are a natural mean of controlling the number of deer, elk, and other large game in an environment. The larger populations of herbivores are a problem for farmers and ranchers. The herd's winter grounds could be the same ranchers use for their cattle. In 1983 the case of Allen Nelson, a rancher in Montana, came to the attention of the Forest Service. Nelson owned land about twenty miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
While wolf hunting habits are a prime example of natural selection, human hunters are the opposite. They hunt the bigger and stronger deer, giving the weak a chance to reproduce. What about the problem of the decreasing deer population? They have been over-populated for many years, and while good for hunters, this is a problem for the wilderness areas of Wisconsin. Without the wolves to hunt the deer, they overpopulated rather quickly.
The wolf is an incredibility majestic creature of the wild. Centuries of hunting have pushed the wolf to the brink of extinction. Man decided to bring back the wolf, but it took many years before their numbers came up enough to be taken off the endangered species list. Now the wolf is abundant with overwhelming numbers. In 2009, a law was enacted allowing people to go out to the local Fish and Game office and buy a license to hunt wolves.
As of 1995, wolves have been reintroduced into the park. This has come with some strong opposition and yet has prevailed. The future of the wolf in Yellowstone park is now looking bright, although not certain since there still are those who want them banished again. History Many hundreds of years ago wolves roamed the entire North American continent with no barriers and very few predators. As settlers moved into the United States, wolves became more and more scarce in the wild of America.
This meant that they turned their attention to domestic livestock, causing farmers and ranchers to fight back. There were even some states offering bounties for the wolves. Montana had a bounty on wolves that totaled more than $350,000 on 81,000 wolves. Due to the lack of a food source, as well as the bounties being offered, a wolf was no longer safe in the lower 48 states. However, there was one safe haven, and that was Yellowstone National Park that was established in 1872.
The main area in the spot light would be Yellowstone because of the national park there it instantly hit the News and Press. People would come from all around the world to see a Yellowstone wolf. They figured that if they planted more wolves that it would bring back balance to the game. For almost seventy years wolves were very few and far between. Mostly because of trapping hunting and the fact that anyone who lives in Idaho hates wolves.
Because wolves regulate the carrying capacity, preserve the health of herds, and complete the ecological cycle in a balanced system, they must be restored to Yellowstone. To understand why wolves should inhabit the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), we must first look to history. As Douglas Smith et al say, “The history of wolves in North America and the west is straightforward: we killed them” (108). This statement may sound simplified, but actual wolf extermination was thoughtless and thorough. 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.
Help Stop the Extinction The Grey Wolf’s, Canis Lupus (“Animal Fact Guide”), habitat can currently be found in the tundra, grasslands, forests, and some deserts ("Gray Wolf National Wildlife Federation"). Some areas include northern United States such as Alaska and Montana as well as Canada and some parts of Mexico (“Basic Facts about Gray Wolves”). The wolf mostly resides in these areas in hopes that it can find its prey easily. These animals include; beavers, elk, deer, rabbits, moose and caribou (“Animal Fact Guide”). But in the past seventy years the Grey Wolf’s population has been diminishing rapidly.
The wolves, bears and lynx lived alongside herbivores such as deer, horses, cattle, wild boar and elk. These herbivores either ate tree seedlings, keeping open meadows from being forested, or foraged on the understory of trees, keeping it open for a wide variety of plants which in turn provided food for many species. When humans began to clear forests and hunt both herbivores and carnivores, they tipped the balance and wolves, bears and lynx along with wild boar and elk were lost from the Scottish Highlands. With no natural predators, red deer numbers drastically increased; this contributed to an already fast destruction of the forests as the deer ate the seedlings and therefore inhibited natural regeneration. Scotland has now lost over 90% of forest cover necessary for many endangered species.