Wolves are a large terrestrial carnivore, the focus of this paper is on (Canis lupus) the Gray wolf of North America. The wolf has always been a controversial issue for humans throughout history. Wolves are considered competition for wild game, a danger to human settlement through predation and disease, and a threat to livestock (Baker, Boitani, Harris, Saunders, & White, 2008). In the United States, wolves have been controlled almost to the point of extinction since the arrival of European settlers. Wolf populations have been on the rise due to being placed on the endangered species list and repopulation efforts by conservation agencies. The question humans should be asking when thinking about wolf control is the long term implications of controlling the wolf population on the environment. Control methods throughout most of human history have been lethal methods to eliminate the wolf from certain areas (Baker et al., 2008). This paper takes a look at the facts that support both sides of the argument and at the end a personal opinion is given.
Pro wolf control
Wolves are a large terrestrial carnivores who hunt the same game animals that humans themselves like to hunt for sport. This conflict arises because the idea that if there are less wolves killing deer and other game animals that there will be more animals for humans to hunt (Baker et al., 2008, p.135).
A large carnivore like the wolf is a dangerous animal that must be respected in the wild. The possibility of wolf attacks on humans and domesticated animals are reasons that some people are supportive of controlling wolf populations. The possibility of wolves carrying disease such as rabies is another example of why wolf control is supported (Baker et al., 2008...
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...nding his property if the person catches the wolf attacking his livestock, but I don’t think that a wolf hunt as a precautionary deterrent is an ecologically wise action.
The topic of wolf control is a complex and full bodied issue, with many different aspects to look at and consider. The coexistence of humans with a large carnivore like the Gray wolf is possible and non-lethal control methods would help, however no viable options are currently being employed. In an attempt to manipulate the environment to better suit our needs and interests, we have removed an important part of the system when we removed the Gray wolf. There is no absolute right or wrong answer to this issue yet, but as wolf populations increase a solution is needed or the wolf might find itself back on the endangered list and the biodiversity of the environment will continue to dwindle.
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