Gauss’ Law states that no two organisms can occupy the same ecological niche without excluding the other, but what happens when man gets involved with nature and tries to introduce a species where it doesn’t belong which in turn provides a second organism to fill the same niche as the first? The results of human intervention have often been disastrous for the organism that we’re supposedly helping. Humans often times do not understand the complexity of the implications that are caused directly through our intervention. In 1974, the gray wolf was listed on the Endangered Species List, and in an effort to reestablish their populations, wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park, affecting Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho (Wyoming Wolf Management Plan, 2003). Between 1995 and 1996 thirty one wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and thirty five wolves into central Idaho. The wolf numbers exploded, leaving these western states with the problem of what to do with these wolves to prevent them from exceeding their carrying capacity and where to go from here.
The wolf is the largest member of the dog family Canidae, making it a real pest if it goes unchecked in agricultural systems. The wolf is one of the most efficient and effective predators in this region, preying on large ungulates; elk, deer, big horn sheep, moose, and even bison and cattle; however they will eat small mammals if there is no other food source available. Prior to 2002 estimates of the loss of livestock due to wolves were 19 cattle and 68 sheep, however in 2002, 33 cattle, 71 sheep and 1 dog were confirmed killed by wolves (Wyoming Wolf Management Plan, 2003). These kills are significant...
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Wyoming Game and Fish Department. (2003) Wyoming Grey Wolf Management Plan.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Office of the Governor. (2005) Wyoming Delisting Petition.
Internet Source Links
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Wyoming Game and Fish
Montana Game and Fish
Idaho Game and Fish
United States Department of Agriculture
Casper Star Tribune
Wyoming Livestock Journal
Wyoming Livestock Roundup
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