Cre Wolf 1

Cre Wolf 1

  • Submitted By: izzy420
  • Date Submitted: 04/18/2013 1:34 PM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 263
  • Page: 2
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CRE – Isabella Oliveira – Article Wolf 1

Grey wolves were nearly extinct in North America, which led to their restoration. In 1995 and 1996

Grey wolves were kept in the Yellowstone National Park so that they could reproduce. However, their

low number of packs increased over the years and their primary prey “elk” suffered a great change in

their population.

Before the restoration of the wolves, the elk numbers were close to carrying capacity. Therefore,

without enough predators the Elk population would surpass carrying capacity and degrade the

environment. However, the elk number decrease a great amount following the wolf restoration. Around

608 northern Yellowstone elk were killed by wolves in 1995-2002, estimating 35% were males and

65% were females. In the pre-wolf years 1986-1996 the elk population was roughly 15,000 – 19,000. In

1998, post wolf years the elk population decreased to 12,000. And it continued to decrease throughout

the years adding up to roughly 8,335 elk count in 2004.

Overall, the restoration of wolves has influenced the 50% decrease in the elk population. Wolves have a

very rapid reproduction rate and high kill rates regardless the count of elk in Yellowstone. Wolves have

also adapted to other preys like the bison. However, if something is not done to prevent the elk

population count it will continue to decrease and they will soon be extinct in the Yellowstone area. Park

managers should efficiently create alternative ways to increase elk reproduction and survival rates.

Better management of wolf to elk ratio so that it can be stable.

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