The Wolves of Yellowstone

The wolves of Yellowstone were wiped out because ranchers hunted the wolves and felt as though they were dangerous. Between 1850 and 1900, an estimated 2 million wolves were shot, trapped, and poisoned by ranchers, hunters, and government employees. The idea was toe make the West and Great Plains safe for livestock and for big-game animals prized by hunters. The reintroduction of wolves was a success because in 2005, the park had 118 gray wolves that had been brought from Canada.  The rancher’s main concern was that it hurt livestock and killed too many big-game animals.  Their arguments are valid because they did hunt their animals, but their existence is necessary to control other populations. Elk gathered around streams less which helped with plant growth, stabilized stream banks, and lowered the water temperature for trout. They also cut coyote populations which helped the growth of smaller animals and also provided more food for eagles and hawks. In order to make both sides happy, the park should be fenced off or the ranchers can fence off their cattle to protect them from wolves so they can continue their habitat without harming the livestock. I think the human intervention is necessary because it was human intervention in the first place that caused the wolves to be endangered and it’s their duty and obligation to bring them back toYellowstonepark. We can see that each species, regardless of the dangers they might posess to one group, can be an integral part of our biodiversity and environment in the long run.

-Nicholas Chan

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