The importance of wolves in yellowstone

As the wolf population in the park has grown, the elk population, their favored prey, has declined. Prior to reintroduction, the EIS predicted that wolves would kill an average 12 elk per wolf annually.

The importance of wolves in yellowstone

The importance of wolves in yellowstone

Wolves arrived in Yellowstone National Park via truck on January 12, NPS In the s, westward expansion brought settlers and their livestock into direct contact with native predator and prey species.

With the prey base removed, wolves began to prey on domestic stock, which resulted in humans eliminating wolves from most of their historical range. Predator control, including poisoning, was practiced here in the late s and early s. The gray wolf was present in Yellowstone when the park was established in Today, it is difficult for many people to understand why early park managers would have participated in the extermination of wolves.

Between andat least wolves were killed in the park; by the s, wolf packs were rarely reported. By the mids, wolves had been almost entirely eliminated from the 48 states.

An intensive survey in the s found no evidence of a wolf population in Yellowstone, although an occasional wolf probably wandered into the area. However, no verifiable evidence of a breeding pair of wolves existed. During the s, wolves began to reestablish breeding packs in northwestern Montana; 50—60 wolves inhabited Montana in In the s, National Park Service wildlife management policy changed to allow populations to manage themselves.

Many suggested at the time that for such regulation to succeed, the wolf had to be a part of the picture. Also in the s and s, national awareness of environmental issues and consequences led to the passage of many laws designed to correct the mistakes of the past and help prevent similar mistakes in the future.

One such law was the Endangered Species Act, passed in The US Fish and Wildlife Service is required by this law to restore endangered species that have been eliminated, if possible. Byall wolf subspecies were on the federal list of endangered species for the lower 48 states except Minnesota.

National Park Service policy also calls for restoration of native species where possible. Wolf Restoration At-a-Glance The Issue The wolf is a major predator that had been missing from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for decades until its restoration in History Late s—early s: The last wolf pack in Yellowstone is killed, although reports of single wolves continue.

The gray wolf is listed as endangered; recovery is mandated under the Endangered Species Act. The long process to restore wolves in Yellowstone begins. Congress appropriates money for an EIS for wolf recovery.

EIS completed for wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone and central Idaho. More thanpublic comments received—the largest number of public comments on any federal proposal at that time. Decision reversed in Wolves prey on livestock outside Yellowstone much less than expected: Wolf management transfers from the federal government to the states of Idaho and Montana.

Wolf populations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming removed from the endangered species list, then returned to the list. A legal challenge resulted in the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population being returned to the federal endangered species list. Based on a Congressional directive, wolves were delisted in Wyoming and the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population is no longer listed.A gray wolf watches biologists in Yellowstone National Park, shortly after they fitted it with a tracking collar.

The photo dates to , 9 years after wolves were first re-introduced to the U.S. In addition to wolves changing the feeding habits of elk, the rebound of the beaver in Yellowstone may also have been affected by the Yellowstone fires, the ongoing drought, warmer and drier winters and other factors yet to be discovered, Smith said.

With Wolves. Present. ELK, the primary prey of wolves in Yellowstone, have decreased in numbers within the factors such as drought, severe winters, and other large predators have also contributed to the decline in Yellowstone elk.

With Wolves. Present. ELK, the primary prey of wolves in Yellowstone, have decreased in numbers within the factors such as drought, severe winters, and other large predators have also contributed to the decline in Yellowstone elk.

The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park may be the key to maintaining groves of cottonwood trees that were well on their way to localized extinction, and is working to.

The history of wolves in Yellowstone chronicles the extirpation, absence and reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone, and how the reintroduction was not without controversy or surprises for scientists, governments or park managers.

Why are wolves important to Yellowstone Park