Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone Park

2530 Words Aug 6th, 2011 11 Pages
Wolf Reintroduction
To Yellowstone Park

Ted Fessides

Ecology, Summer Semester 2011
Professor Thomas Heasley
July 15, 2011

Contents Introduction 3 History 4 The Cons of Wolf Reintroduction 6 Pros of Wolf Reintroduction 7 Summary 9 Works Cited 11

Reintroduction of Wolves at Yellowstone Park Introduction While highly controversial, the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone Park has provided many beneficial ecological changes to the entire parks ecosystem. After a nearly 70 year absence, in January of 1995, 14 wolves from separate packs were captured in the Canadian Rockies and transported to Yellowstone National Park in the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho (Sanders par. 2). The Canis Lupus or more commonly known as the
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5). While in the acclimation pens the wolves were fed a diet of elk and other road kill with wolves typically consuming 21 to 32 pounds of meat in a single feeding. In March of 1995, three of the packs were released in Yellowstone, but with one issue; the wolves refused to exit through the gate because they had associated it with humans, forcing the park rangers to cut a hole in the side of the enclosure for them to escape (Sanders par. 11). Once the wolves were released two of the packs left the park and set up their territory leaving only one group initially setting up inside the park. On May 3, 1995 female wolf number nine gave birth to eight puppies, the first wolves to be born in the park in nearly 70 years. The mother and pups were recaptured and taken back to the acclimation pen, until the pups were weaned (Sanders par. 15). The reason for this recapture was because at this time, this wolf and her eight pups counted for almost 50% of the park’s wolf population. Since this time there have been no other human interventions preferring to let nature take its course on the population. In 1996-1997 a second group of wolves was captured and brought to Yellowstone for introduction via soft release with two more acclimation pens being built, bringing the total to four. In the winter of 1997-1998 the reintroduction of wolves was stopped due to the high success of the wolf packs breeding and the pups surviving on their own. The breeding
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