The reintroduction of Gray Wolves into Yellowstone has had many positive affects such as controlling the populations of large game and taking out the small week stupid ones. Some farmers complain about them killing cattle but who cares what they think.
The gray wolf, also called the timber wolf, is the largest of about 41 wild species within the dog family, Canidae, of the order Carnivora. All living wolves are considered a single species, Canis lupus. There are 32 recognized subspecies of the gray wolf. Wolf size varies. Adults range from about five to six and a half feet from nose to tip of tail, from 26 to 36 inches high at the shoulders, and weigh from 40 to 175 pounds. Gray wolves aren’t necessarily gray but grizzled gray is the most common color they can also be white, black or red. Wolves are distinguished from dogs by characteristics of the skull. At one time the wolf lived throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. Most wolf populations are in Canada and Alaska, where they are relatively stable. Of the lower 48 only Minnesota has a wolf population large enough to maintain itself.
Wolves live in packs.
The Forestry Service reintroduced gray wolves to the northern Rocky Mountains as well as Yellowstone National Park in an attempt to re-establish the species after an absence of more than 60 years. Gray wolves were exterminated from the area by the late 1920s. They are designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in most of the lower 48 states. The reintroduction program is a cooperative effort with the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service.
Late last century, we realized that something was wrong with the ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park. Without the wolves Yellowstone fails to maintain its natural state. It was made clear that the ecosystem in Yellowstone would never function properly until they were back. They decided that the wolf should be reintroduced into the ecosystem at Yellowstone. Many people, thought that this was foolish. The debate over wolves and Yellowstone has pissed off a lot of people, who will continue to rage for years.
Why were wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone? Wolves helped restore Yellowstone’s ecosystem to a condition that resembles the way used to be. The wolf, is a large predator, and therefor an important part of the parks ecosystem. Once the population recovered, interactions between predators and prey were restored. The wolves select the weakest and most vulnerable members of the populations of deer, elk, bison,… and kill them. Such actions enhance the health of the parks game species as well as weeding out the wussies. Even with wolves roaming the parks, visitors will rarely see them. They will be able to understand the importance of the wolf and see how the balance of life is essential.
The biological factors resulting from reintroducing the wolf are important. However, the wolf itself is a mystery and symbol to mankind. Today, not everyone feels that same way about the wolf and its surroundings. Many don’t know and understand the importance of the wolf and its duty. What you do not know you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.