Wolf Family Values

Decent Essays

In “Scared to Death” by Ed Yong and Sharon Levy’s “Wolf Family Values,” we read about the need to protect the population of wolves in North America. These two articles have very different ways to go about this. Ed Yong talks about the wolf effects on elk as well as the rest of the environment. Levy’s approach is about wolf social structure and how it is impacted by hunting. Both of these make some valid points on why more conservation efforts should be made; however, I believe Ed Yong made the stronger case. Ed Yong makes very valid points on how the wolves of Yellowstone have impacted the overly populated elk herds. He has this to say about the herds; “Today the population stands at just over 6,000 down from 19,000 in the elk’s wolf-free heyday,” (ll57). This might seem like a terrible drop in the elk’s numbers, but it is actually a good thing. Yong tells us, “The large deer had run amok in the wolf-free decades, causing serious damage to the park’s trees,” (ll5-6). So in reality, while there are far less elk now, the trees can start to build back up again. With the wolves being back in Yellowstone there has been a much larger effect on the ecosystem than on just the elk. Since the saplings …show more content…

She makes her argument based on the wolf social structure. She says, “…the fact that the hunting of wolves warps their social structure, ripping apart the family ties and traditions that define wolf society,” (ll17-18). She says that by killing wolves, we are also destroying a family bond that is much like ours. She also says that killing wolves endangers the future of the pack. The late Gordon Haber summed it up best. Levy says, “Building on this insight, Haber argued that older wolves pass knowledge down to younger pack members, and that human hunting disrupts this natural order,” (ll24-25). By killing the older members, hunting might have had a devastating effect on how well wolves are able to

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