Grey Wolf Research Paper

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Grey Wolves Reintroduction in N.W. U.S. Grey wolves are land carnivores native to northwestern United States and Western Canada. After many years of being on the endangered species list, these animals have been released from protected parks and reintroduced back into their natural habitat. The reintroduction of the wolves began in the 1990’s and still today, the success is controversial. The controversy over the issue comes from a clash of views between environmentalists, farmers and hunters. Yellowstone National Park (2014) shows that environmentalists began the reintroduction with the hope that there would be enough wolves survive on their own to be able to reproduce and then be taken off of the endangered species list. In the 1990’s, as…show more content…
Before the agricultural push in the early 1900’s, there was a fair balance in the amount of big game that wolves killed. When the wolves were forced to compete with hunters for game and with their new menu item (cows) humans began their conflict with the wolves. Wolf population rapidly decreased causing a change in migratory habits of big game. With their reintroduction however, wolf packs have grown in number higher than they have been in the past causing another shift in the balance. More and more elk are being found in unnatural areas where they are no longer accustomed to living resulting in death due to starvation and the elements. Juanita Constible, Luke Sandro, and Richard Lee (2008) said “During the winter in northern states, elk migrate to lower elevation to seek food that cannot be found in the mountains where snow is deep. Being pushed further away from low areas by wolves, elk carcasses have been found higher in elevation than usual frozen or starved caused by the fear of wolves”…show more content…
wants for food. In the past, wolves have largely fed themselves on carrion (remains of carcasses) killed from natural causes. Cat Urbigkit (2010) said that wolves are known to be scavengers as well as carnivores. Much of their diet comes without killing. Recent data shows, however, that there have been more carcasses left to rot than the scavengers can eat. One theory on this change is that wolves have adapted to a new diet now seeking fresh meat as opposed to leftovers (p.188). The new wolves have been reported to kill more often and leave much of the carcass behind. It has been suspected that the new wolves, used to being fed by humans in the National Parks, are less interested in remains of animals. Wolves, like most predators, try to pick off the smaller/weaker animals from a herd because they are the easiest targets. The result of this selective hunting is that the younger animals are often killed before they reach maturity. This is where the issue arises for hunters because the laws of the Fish and Game often limit the killing of animals to only mature

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