I know some people here have VERY strong opinions about the re-introduction of wolves to some national parks in the west. Now, let me be clear, I have no vested interest in any of this, I live thousands of miles away in a tropical island, but I still like to understand issues such as these. Somebody sent me this video, http://blog.ted.com/2014/02/18/video-how-wolves-can-alter-the-course-of-rivers/ , which basically sings the praises of this wolf re-introduction. It seems a bit Bambi-ish and exxagerated, and is narrated with a British accent, which is always a red flag, but, it is what it is. There seems to be no down side to this wolf thing, except to the deer, and by extension, the deer hunters. More of a whole bunch of other creatures are claimed to be thriving.
I can follow the "lack of predators led to too many deer which depleted or damaged the environment" argument, but, by the same token, too many predators (being protected from their own predator, man) will eventually ALSO harm the environment, and it goes back-and-forth in cycles.
Anybody care to elaborate. Please, a bit more than SSS (shoot, shovel, shut-up). I admit, if I ever encountered a wolf, or any other dangerous animal, I'd probably shoot it if I had how, as I'm not used to sharing space with any predators at all (other than sharks).
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I kike the idea of wolves being back in their natural habitat....the problem is-the naturalists and others let the packs grow too big...there should be a culling process that keeps the numbers at 1/2 what the land would support....then everybody would be happy and the wolves would be where they should be....
Couple of points worth noting Luis:
The wolves "re-introduced" are not the same type and size as we once had here, they're much larger animals, imported from Canada.
They have devastated the elk herds in sections of northern Idaho, and other places
Until hunting for them was recently opened up in Idaho, the wolves and grizzlies were the only large animal roaming the lower 48 that didn't have a legal season. We can and do hunt black bears (yes, they're predators), and mountain lions, but for some reason the wolves were considered "off limits." Fortunately that is now changing, but the damage is done.
This is no longer the wild, undeveloped west. It's full of ranches, farms, people taking trips into the mountains afoot or on horseback. Wolves are a problem. Yes, they have already started preying on livestock.
There are more points to be made, but those stick out to me. There were also some very shady shennanigans pulled with the reintroduction, and with letting the wolf populations get much, much larger than the originally stated goals.
Fortunately there is quite a backlash, and at least in some areas the wolves are being controlled by hunting and trapping. I don't necessarily want them to be eliminated, but I'd sure like to see them managed as any other large wild animal, with legal trapping and hunting seasons.
I hear nothing but bad about the Wolves in the UP of Michigan. The packs are getting too large thus killing pets and livestock. I personally like the idea of Wolves being back too, but they need to be regulated. They need the fear of man constantly.
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M700 hit it on the head..... They introduced wolves that are much bigger and much more agressive then the wolves that were there and these wolves live in much larger packs. That was a stupid mistake...... I love to hear the wolves when I go to Idaho but I know that they are the wrong wolves and they are destroying the game animals. Even on the TV show Mountain Men they showed what these new wolves do, They came in a slaughtered a guys cattle... At least 10 dead cows and none of them were eaten, These wolves kill for the thrill of it and not just because they are hungry.
I Love wolves but I understand why people that live in those states the had them "Re-introduced" dont!
I picked up a copy of Hunting Illustrated (Winter 2014 issue) because it has an in depth article on Elk and Wolves of the West. Plus other articles regarding wolves and ranchers in Montana. I haven't had time to read it yet but I know that the Elk herds of Idaho have been cut in half since this breed of wolf has been introduced. They are devastating to the game herds as well as the ranchers cattle. They should be agressively controlled at this point because controlling their population will not be an easy task.
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As long as there isn't anything keeping wolves out of an area, why is it necessary to "re-introduce" them? If the habitat is suitable, it looks to me like they would have "re-introduced" themselves without any involvement needed from man. Obviously, they did not do that, so Man, thinking he knows better than Mother Nature, decides to overrule her.
Then we wonder why it doesn't end well, either for the other inhabitants or the transplanted species.
So, so far, man eliminated the native wolves. Deer populations expanded, not having their natural predators anymore. With more deer, the environment suffered somewhat, and apparently not enough hunting took place to limit the deer population enough. Not enough tags? Not enough interest? Hunting only in "season" didn't diminish the herd as much as wolves used to, not having "seasons"?
So now, wolves are introduced again, but they are different wolves and they may be depredating the herd more than is convenient and expanding to other areas, such as livestock, where they are becoming another nuisance until either hunted or being too many and dying for lack of prey (food).
It seems these would be relatively long cycles that are being managed short term?
I'd rather have too many deer than too many wolves? Hunting deer provides venison. Hunting wolf only provides for the thrill of the hunt, plus hopefully more deer. I have had and like venison.
I think I'll vote for the deer.
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Touching video, (sniff,sniff).
Want more mice? Give me your address ROFL! No shortage of them here. I keep two buckets of fresh water in the goat shed that are refilled nightly. Overnight, I've had as many a four mice in each bucket! They can't tread water. I don't care how tight your house is, they still get in. The joy's of country life! LOL!
The rabbit, grouse, even mice, havenatural life cycles where there are more born any one year over the next. This has already been prooven by science that every seven, or five, or ? a certain animal species will have a larger than normal year. Even weather cycles have the effect. An early dry spring and fairly dry summer can induce some game birds to "double clutch".
Accordingly, populations of predators, weasels, raptor's, etc, will rise and fall depending on available populations of prey.
Any animal species, from the deer, to the ducks, if living in close,overpopulated proximity will develop diseases that cause great population die off. It has been documented on game refuges and preserve's, and is being seen among concentrated deer populations now with chronic wasting disease.
Guy (M700) is quite correct in the wolf species. Therefore, I maintain that it is not wolf reintroduction, but foreign specie introduction. Washington State has laws that concern introduction of non native species, but our game dept here is over run with tree hugger's so a waiver was no suprise at all. And of course the wolf planting was only done in rural backyards, not around the population centers (Just a little selective?). I'd love to see wolves planted in the parks of Seattle and Tacoma, weren't they also there?
River's? Baloney! I can show anybody numerous river's that even the wolf can't tame as claimed in the video clip.
I am not against natural migration of specie movement. If an animal naturally moves into a place I'm all for it! Grizzly, wolf, cat's, any specie, doesn't matter. But we must remember that a specie, especially predator's, will only live in an area, as long as that area will maintain that population. When the elk are gone (LoLo herd), the wolves will move on and find another area where there is enough to feed themselves, and train their young with. Might just be a few pet's get eaten along the way.
The video clip only serves to try and sway favoritism for wolf introduction/protection because some State's are allowing, and thinking of allowing hunting of them. Imagine same video with a dialogue, of global warming, or wildlife population increase after the massive yellowstone fire a few years back now, or maybe a tourist boards advertisement for naturalists. Quite multi purpose, with no set science references. Anyway, YMMV, just my observations, practices, and understandings of what we used to call conservation.
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Here in Idaho the fish and game just spent several thousand to kill several wolves in northern Idaho, because their numbers were getting to great and they where reducing the elk population
in the area.
They also been spotted in the foot hills just north of the city of Boise. It wouldn't surprise me that sooner or later they might migrate right down into the city, just like mountain lions have.