Wolves eat elk, make Yellowstone a better place, researchers say
A gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park. The predatory animals were reintroduced to the park in 1995.
January 5th, 2012
11:59 AM ET

Wolves eat elk, make Yellowstone a better place, researchers say

Predatory wolves are helping restore the ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park more than 15 years after their reintroduction to America's oldest national park, researchers report.

The wolves eat elk, which mean the elk aren't eating young trees, and in turn there are more mature trees creating better living conditions for animals from fish to birds to beavers to bears, according to the report from researchers at Oregon State University.

“The wolves have made a major difference in Yellowstone,” Robert Beschta, an Oregon State professor emeritus of forestry and co-author on the study said in a statement.

Wolves historically inhabited the Yellowstone area, but they were considered dangerous predators to livestock and humans and were eliminated from the park by 1926, when the last known wolf in Yellowstone was shot.

Gray wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995.

Since then, “Yellowstone increasingly looks like a different place,” the study's lead author, Oregon State professor William Ripple, said in a statement.

"Trees and shrubs are starting to come back and beaver numbers are increasing. The signs are very encouraging."

The National Park Service said that as of the end of 2010, there were at least 97 wolves in the park. Those wolves were in 11 packs as well as six lone individuals.

In 2010, those wolves were associated with 211 elk kills, according to the park service.

According to the Oregon State report, the elk population has decreased 60%, from 15,000 to 6,000, since wolves have returned to Yellowstone. That means more mature populations of trees such as willows, cottonwood and aspen.

Besides creating homes for birds, those trees provide habitat for beavers. Beaver colonies increased from one in 1996 to 12 in 2009, the study said, providing habitat for even more creatures.

"Wyoming streams with beaver ponds have been found to have 75 times more abundant waterfowl than those without," the report said.

The healthier wolf population has also taken a toll on coyotes, who aren't consuming as much small game in the park, leaving more for animals from foxes to eagles.

“Predation and predation risk associated with large predators appear to represent powerful ecological forces, capable of affecting the interactions of numerous animals and plants, as well as the structure and function of ecosystems,” the researchers said.

And the National Park Service said wolves provide one more benefit to Yellowstone - visitors love 'em. In 2010, the park reported 38,000 visitors observing wolves, a record high.

Wolves are also thriving in Wyoming outside the park, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In October, the agency proposed taking the gray wolf population in Wyoming off the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, saying the population was "healthy and stable."

"Wyoming wolves are ready to stand on their own under the management of the professional wildlife biologists of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department,” Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said at the time.

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Filed under: On Earth
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Dr.K.

    This article actually does a pretty good job of spelling out the ecological relationships of different species. When one begins to understand how the presence of predators helps ensure adequate beaver ponds for migrating waterfowl, the importance of every species in an ecosystem becomes clearer. Nicely done.

    January 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • TS

      Oh yes I agree doc. Just think of the tourism. Idaho, land of the Beavers. You are an idiot.

      January 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • Dr.K.

        Of course, one first has to begin to understand...

        January 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • TS

      K...get out and observe the wild in reality, not behind your PC. Get out of the city and breath some fresh air for once. You might see what is really going on, and not have to blog about it. When all prey is exterminated from the park, how will you contain the pack(s) from going into farmlands and back yards? All I know it was great success to a least take out two Alfa specimens this year. It sure sounds like you would probably lay down and let them feed on your Highly Educated carcass. Wow you are brilliant!!

      January 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • I = rubber, U = glue

        @ TS

        You gonna be alright, buddy? Settle down a bit. All Dr.K did was compliment the article.

        Did a pack of wolves rape and kill your family? You shot a 180 lb wolf and now you are an expert. Anyone who likes wolves or articles about wolves is an idiot who never leaves his computer. I've never shot a 180 lb wolf so I'm no expert, but I don't think I need to worry about being attacked by wolves any time soon. You sound like Dwight from the office claiming bear attacks will happen all the time.

        Thanks for the laugh.

        January 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • Dr.K.

        At the risk of feeding a troll, I might point out that you are absolutely wrong that I live in a city, that I blog, or that I don't spend a heII of a lot of time outdoors – including hunting, fishing, and raising animals, I might add. These errors on your part suggest that you might not be too reliable in your other observations either. You are right about one thing, I am highly educated – in the very subjects that you are pretending to have expertise in – and you are not as wise as your smugness would suggest.

        January 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • outdoor leadership 101

        You're an idiot that's about all I can say to sum up what your comments show the world. Maybe you should take a science class and educate yourself. Here's an idea why don't you get off YOUR couch and PC go volunteer for the parks sometime to get the big picture first hand if you want to be so negative.

        June 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  2. Houstonian

    @Linda I love how you say you know all you need to know about hunting. Tell me, is my cousin's 19 year old son a 'trophy hunter' because he was so excited about the 10 point buck he brought down a couple of years ago? I know for a fact that every useable bit of that buck was used and the 'trophy' was mounted. I'm sure the taxidermist who charged my cousin and her husband $500 to preserve the head and antlers did his part in economy too. Ma'am, you sound like a city dweller who has never lived in the country and has never had to listen to an animal you raised being killed by a predator. I grew up in southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. When the deer populations are out of control, they starve, they get sick (sometimes spreading the diseases to domestic/farm animals) and end up smeared on the highways. Let me tell you, it's terrifying to be in a car that hits a deer. If the only experience/knowledge of hunting you have is the crap they show on sports channels, you do NOT know everything you need to know about hunting. If the only thing you know about the Yellowstone wolves is the PBS special, you know nothing about the wolves or what they do to the livestock herds in the area. Grow up and educate yourself. Stop condemning people who don't/can't live by the fantasy you seem to have of how country folks, (ranchers and hunters) should live and acquaint yourself with reality.

    January 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  3. Marlee

    Michigan farmer and homemaker here! Small animals and small children to protect. Neanderthal man was so much more than he's made out to be. Wolves and coyotes have their place, but it isn't in my farmyard and playground!

    January 6, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Flixoman

      If your "farmyard" and "backyard" are in the middle of wolf habitat and you cant deal with that, maybe you should move. Mmmmmmkay?

      January 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Dr. Sardonicus

    Do you wolf hunters hunt wolves to put on your table?

    January 6, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • TS

      $200 dollars a pelt would buy a lot of groceries don't you agree?

      January 6, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • Dr.K.

        Well, if that's your logic then one could consider a hired assassin to be a subsistence hunter – the payoff puts groceries on the table. I'm not against hunting, but that logic's a stretch.

        January 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Down 60% in 7 years just think they can have a reintroduction program for the elk when they are gone from the park. Sounds like job security for these researchers.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • jesse

      Barb you need to get your facts right before you open your mouth. Fish and game departments do not maintain artificially high numbers of deer and elk, because their revenue comes from hunting licenses.

      I live in western wyoming and last year we lost 75% of our mule deer populations and our Game and fish did not do a thing from a management stand point to help our deer herds out. they issued the same amount of tags as always. Why because they dont want to loose money. Also do you relieze that Mule deer are the only western big game species in decline. There was once 150,000 muledeer in my area until the wyoming Game and Fish issued up to 6 deer tags per person in the late 80's to early 90's and wiped our herds out and now we have 20,000(the count before we lost 75% of our deer) does that sound like keeping numbers artificially high? Where are the animal activist when it comes to our mule deer which will be put under ESA protection in my lifetime watch and see

      January 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  6. Linda Ardizzone

    And there are plenty of trophy hunters. Just because they pay for the kill doesn't make them respectable hunters. They pay to have a trophy animal sit patiently in front of them to wait to be shot. Listen people, I am not talking about respectable hunters who hunt for food, I am talking about people who kill for the fun of it, the thrill, the bravado, and the power of taking a life, not people who hunt for food only, without the boost to their ego that they killed an animal. Those of you who are respectful and legal hunters who kill for the food, please stop taking offense. I don't mean you. But for the rest of you, and you know who you are, stop lying to yourselves, you kill for the fun of it and you know it. Stop kidding yourselves.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • wyomingnative

      Linda I am assuming that when you say trophy hunters you are referring to those guys on tv who sit for days trying to get the biggest buck. Well yes those guys are to a point trophy hunting but if you think that the meat doesn't get used you are wrong, It is common for many who hunt for trophy and no meat to give the meat to soup kitchens and people in the community who need it. I outfitted for some of those trophy hunts you see on tv in Wyoming and they left the meat with us and asked us to give it to people who need it. So that is what we did. If you do not know anything on the subject of hunting or wildlife do some research before you start talking.

      January 6, 2012 at 1:46 am |
      • Linda Ardizzone

        I know all I need to know about hunting. As I said earlier people who hunt for the thrill of the kill will always find excuses to justify filling that need. You just prove my point. Hunting for food is fine, hunting for fun or to fill a void within oneself is simply wrong. All of the defensive comments received by hunters make it clear that I certainly have hit a nerve with some people.

        January 6, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  7. thalakos

    you do realize that you can't eat the skull and antlers right? and that deer don't run around already headless? and that a deer head on someone's wall is put to better use than the bones from your hormone injected chickens and cows? ok. just for you, my next buck I will take the skin and antlers off the head and make it into a hood and wear it around your town. everyone says eat organic. there's not much out there more organic than killing and eating your own food. i've been hunting a very long time and the only trophy hunter i ever ran into was one that paid to hunt on a deer farm.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  8. Marlee

    You won't find me within 500 miles of Yellowstone supervolcano! Whoever thinks wolves and coyotes are harmless is nuts. I won't bother them if they don't bother me!

    January 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • duckforcover

      Let me guess, you're in New York City. Right?

      January 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • LaVictoria

        Get a rope.

        January 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  9. thalakos

    99% of hunters don't trophy hunt. yes we get a thrill from taking a 10 point deer over a doe. you get a thrill from a buy one get 3 free sale don't you? but what's the issue? if i said i'd take a fawn just the same you'd flame me too.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Linda Ardizzone

      99% of hunters don't trophy hunt?? If that were really the case you would see far fewer stuffed heads on the walls of hunters. Give me a break.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • Scott

        Actually Linda, most hunters are not in fact what you call trophy hunters. Most people look at someone that has an animal head on the wall as being a trophy hunter. Thats not the case at all. I have an elk on my wall, a couple actually, does that mean I'm a trophy hunter? Nope, far from it. To me its a reminder of the hunt, the humane way in which I took the animal, and for me its to honor the animal.

        January 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • Linda Ardizzone

        So you put the head on your wall to remind you of the humane way you took the animal? Oh, bless you kind sir!! You are grasping at straws now. Good God Almighty.

        January 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
      • Linda Ardizzone

        I do think however that you are really being sincere in your own way, but for me your logic is way out there. Sorry Scott. You sound like a really nice guy though.

        January 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  10. thalakos

    i love to hunt, but as with most hunters i do it for food. i'd shoot a wolf the same as i would a deer or bear. legally with a bow or gun depending on the season. i live in new england. and i watch a smaller version of this battle occur with coyote. the coyote population explodes and the small animal population dwindles. then two or three years go by and the coyote population is down due to lack of food so the small animal population explodes for a few years. it goes in cycles. i know wolves hunt and pack differently however, it still cycles. the elk population was out of control so they brought back the wolf. the wolf population exploded because of over abundance of food supply. as for those concerned about moose and deer, there's only one creature on earth the causes extinction of animals and its not a wolf.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  11. Boomer in Mo

    I read about the benefit wolves brought to Yellowstone months ago in Mother Earth News. But I still understand why the ranchers did not want them brought in and don't want them now. If I was in Wyoming with my cattle and horses, I'd probably be shooting wolves just like we shoot coyotes in Mo when they get to hanging round the cows and the barns.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Flixoman

      Nuisance animals are one thing. Its another to simply exterminate all possible predators in an area because you are scared that a predator MIGHT come around your things.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Linda Ardizzone

    It is amazing to me how much the human race questions Mother Nature's balance and insist on killing the wolves. Since the proponents of wolf killing slipped removing them from protection in the budget bill last summer hundreds of wolves have already been killed by the neanderthals in Idaho and Montana. Any why? Mostly because men (and I say men since they seem to do most of the killing, although there are some Sarah Palin types out there) need to make themselves feel powerful by killing defenseless wildlife. It is human insecurities that result in the desire to kill, after all nothing makes an insecure person feel more powerful than taking a life. All the excuses about them killing elk and livestock are just that, EXCUSES. Why don't these people just admit that they like taking the lives of Mother Earth's creatures because that seems to be the only way they can get their rocks off!! Honestly, I am convinced that if our society made the killing of humans legal, these insecure people would kill them as well. This is all about ego, not reality. Sorry people, but there is no reason to kill wolves, but keep coming up with excuses. Pretty pathetic human behavior no matter how you slice it.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Jim

      So Linda,you are a vegetarian I take it. Because every cow i,ve every known that was turned into a hamber has been as defenseless of an animal that I have seen

      January 6, 2012 at 2:40 am |
      • Linda Ardizzone

        I totally agree with you Jim. How we treat livestock is even more pathetic not to mention all of the hormones, chemicals and antibiotics they inject those animals with. That is why I am totally fine with hunting for food. I don't eat beef or chicken but not because of some stance that humans shouldn't eat meat or hunt. I simply don't enjoy those foods.

        January 6, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  13. Linda Ardizzone

    It is amazing to me how much the human race questions Mother Nature's balance and insist on killing the wolves. Since the proponents of wolf killing slipped removing them from protection in the budget bill last summer hundreds of wolves have already been killed by the neanderthals in Idaho and Montana. Any why? Mostly because men (and I say men since they seem to do most of the killing, although there are some Sarah Palin types out there) need to make themselves feel powerful by killing defenseless wildlife. It is human insecurities that result in the desire to kill, after all nothing makes an insecure person feel more powerful than taking a life. All the excuses about them killing elk and livestock are just that, EXCUSES. Why don't these people just admit that they like taking the lives of Mother Earth's creatures because that seems to be the only way they can get their rocks off!! Honestly, I am convinced that if our society made the killing of humans legal, these insecure people would kill them as well. This is all about ego, not reality. Sorry people, but there is no reason to kill wolves, but keep coming up with excuses.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Scott

      Linda, you should read both sides of the story before you go spewing at the mouth. You are obviously a city dweller that has no REAL experience of the wilderness and what it takes to maintain HEALTHY numbers of all species including the wolf. I hunt and I don't kill to feel powerful or supreme, I hunt to put food on the table. I hunt to make sure the animals I love to see in the wild are kept at HEALTHY numbers so that they don't starve or become riddled with disease or get plastered all over the highways of America. I don't believe wolves should be completely wiped out either. I do believe they need to be managed or they will continue to decimate the ungulate populations. By the way, less elk equals more undergrowth, more undergrowth equals more devastating wildfires. Maybe you get the picture. If not, start reading, you have a lot to learn.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Linda Ardizzone

        Scott,
        There is a big difference between killing a wolf and putting food on the table. I am all for putting food on the table and agree that hunting is a very healthy choice. I would defend your decision to kill your own food. I am talking about trophy hunters who truly get a thrill from killing a defenseless animal for sport and people that come up with excuses to justify senseless killing of wildlife. And by the way, humans' want to manage the population of Mother Nature's "other" creatures but seem unable to control their own population even though we are thought to be the most "intelligent" species. Try not to get so defensive about hunting. I am not against it. And by the way, I am not a city dweller.

        January 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • TS

      If you want to talk about helpless wildlife being killed, study a little about the technique used by the present day, larger than normal, reintroduced wolf. Find a good artical about how the Alfa clamps the nose of its prey, then holds while the rest of the pack tear it apart slowly while alive. Sounds like how I want to die.

      January 6, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  14. Wyoming John

    Keep them in Yellowstone. I worked in the park for six years and the wolves do a good job of thinning out the elk and bison herds. Put shock collars on the wolves and set them so they won't leave the park and kill all the livestock. I used to think reintroducing wolves was a good thing but after seeing the devastation on livestock I realize it was a mistake.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  15. wyomingnative

    What kind of dumbperson thinks this a good thing. Last couple of years here in wyo and they are killing wolves on flatland two hundred miles fromYellowstone along with black bears yet the goverenment and all these tree hugging researchers won't admit we have a problem

    January 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Flixoman

      /laughs – oh let me guess – you decided that this land is the area for your precious cows, eh? So the fact that it was wolf territory for centruries does not matter?

      January 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Eric

    I love the outdoors and love going back home to Idaho from Chicago every year to go camping. One of the biggest changes i have seen over the years is i dont see the wildlife i did in years past. however i see a lot of wolves everwhere. i saw wolves not 1 mile from two different towns this year. and even had wolves come into our camp. I say shoot the wolves.

    January 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  17. Pete

    I heard there was one animal that goes out in packs, wears camouflage, and kills animals just for the fun of it. They use special tools, so they can kill at a distance without risking harm to themselves. Sometimes, they get frustrated and kill cattle instead.

    Also, they don't know how to spell "decimate" and apparently don't know what it means.

    January 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Scott

      Go camping in the back country of Idaho while wearing a meat vest Pete. Just give them big hugs, I'm certain they'll just lick your face. I like how anti-hunting activists scream about how insensitive and unjust hunting is but quickly forget that the men, women, and youth that hunt pay for the conservation of the public lands. But thats probably too much for you to handle as you certainly have no insight into what conservation is nor what it takes for proper conservation.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • TS

      For the love of Pete, you sound like you don't get out from behind your computer monitor too often let alone get out of the city at all. You would probably be afraid to step out in the wild, and maybe hear the howls of the wolves as they are encircling a birthing elk, to rip the calf from the mothers body just for fun. Have you ever done such a thing in your life? I doubt it. Oh thanks for correcting my spelling. I guess you're just better at leaving spell check on than I am. And before all you greenies try to make yourself sound like you know what you're talking about on this subject, do a little research before just bringing the same old liberal canned responses to the discussion. You don't know anything.

      January 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • Pete

        I summer in the wild–not Wyoming but northern Ontario. And I volunteer at a Wildlife Rescue Center here in the States. So I don't think I'm completely dim.

        Canned responses? Wow! I don't even know what to say to that. Gotta say, that leaves me speechless. All the pro-wolf extinction comments here seem to be cut from the same cloth.

        BTW, I don't really need to wear a meat vest; I already AM one.

        January 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  18. TS

    Went hunting out west for elk this year. Not as many elk anymore because of wolves so what did we do. We got ourselves two 180 lb wolves on tags we bought. If you ever understood how these "pack hunters" work, you would try to remove them before they descimate every population of native animals. You idiots think the wolves are a good thing, until they corner you, bite down on your face, and let the rest of the pack tear you apart alive!

    January 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  19. douglasjames

    Survival of the fittest! Where are the environmentalist on this one? Come out, come out wherever you are.

    January 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Pete

      I don't think I've ever met an environmentalist who was not cool with circle of life. I volunteer at a wildlife rescue center. If we release into the wild an animal who had been injured or orphaned because of human activity, we all realize that it's on its own. If it's preyed upon an hour after it's released–well, that's the way things go.

      January 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Barb

    Please remember that state fish and game departments maintain artificially high numbers of deer and elk, because their revenue comes from hunting licenses.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • jesse

      Barb you need to get your facts right before you open your mouth. Fish and game departments do not maintain artificially high numbers of deer and elk, because their revenue comes from hunting licenses.

      I live in western wyoming and last year we lost 75% of our mule deer populations and our Game and fish did not do a thing from a management stand point to help our deer herds out. they issued the same amount of tags as always. Why because they dont want to loose money. Also do you relieze that Mule deer are the only western big game species in decline. There was once 150,000 muledeer in my area until the wyoming Game and Fish issued up to 6 deer tags per person in the late 80's to early 90's and wiped our herds out and now we have 20,000(the count before we lost 75% of our deer) does that sound like keeping numbers artificially high?

      January 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  21. JehseaLynn

    I have worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) on various rangeland management solutions, although not the wolf reintroduction specifically. I did, of course, have exposure to it and an opportunity to learn about it.

    Like any large-scale sweeping project – and the re-introduction of a species is about as large scale as it gets – not all parties come away happy, simply because not everyone can see the program through the proper perspective. Most are focused on what will impact them, whether they farm, ranch, camp, etc. But NRCS, DOW, and the Fish & Wildlife Services that implement re-introductions are not "managing" blind. These vast, complex ecosystems have been studied intensively for more than a century; projects implemented and tested over and ovrr, tinkered with and changed until "Best Practices" were developed that were BEST for EVERY ELEMENT of the ecosystem. Therefore, this re-introduction does represent the very BEST HEALTHY OUTCOME(S) FOR ALL ELEMENTS IN THIS VAST, COMPLEX ECOSYSTEM. It is the big, beautiful, glorious – and sometimes brutal and hazardous – picture of UNFETTERED NATURE at her untampered-with best.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Farjaad

      Wolves are going to do the same for big game as the coyote has done for small game. The setats that reintroduced the wolf will see a great loss of revenue as the populations of big game species decrease. Out of state hunters are not going to spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere to hunt that provides a very slim chance of success. Wildlife officials are going to have to decide whether they want the wolf or the hunters and the money they spend that supports so many people including themselves. I am sure the local hunters, outfitters and ranchers would gladly see the wolf completely gone. So to answer your question it is absolutely not the hunter.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  22. Bob

    in 15 years the wolves have killed off 60% of the elk now what happens in another 15 years all the elk will be gone so will the moose . also the wolves will kill and eat beavers and anyother thing they can get.
    a wolf is in the animal kingdom as a shark is to the ocean -

    January 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Pete

      Is that why there are no longer any fish in the ocean?

      January 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • rtg

      That's so not true! I was at Yellowstone last year and the place was packed with elk. It surprises me how so many elk survive the winters.

      January 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • what?

      Is that a statistic you pulled out your butt like the rest of crap your spewing?

      January 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  23. Scott

    Google predator death spiral and Idaho to see what impact these wolves are having. Theres a lot more to this than what this article is presenting. Does it bother to talk about the moose or deer populations not only being decreased but on the fringe of disappearing? Do they bother to tell you that the "reintroduced wolf" is actually twice the average size of the wolf that lived in the area prior to the reintroduction? Or that they hunt in 'super packs'? They don't just eat the sick or weak animals either, they are opportunity killers that will kill just to kill and leave the elk, deer, etc just laying their without ever touching it again. Go look at youtube and type in Yellowstone is dead.

    January 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Shea

      ZOMG... you mean they are acting like people? Maybe you are just crying cause a mean ol' wolf took your trophy buck.

      January 6, 2012 at 12:09 am |
      • Seam

        The full blame for the overall rcieutdon of game, especially elk and deer in not only Yellowstone Park, where thee is no hunting, and much of the Mountain West rests squarely on the shoulders of the bunny highers and he Federal Fish and Game Department.The bunny huggers and the Federal Possum Cops collaborate to reintroduce and protect wolves into areas where they had previously been eradicate at great cost and effort by early settlers.Apparently the bunny huggers and Possum Cops consider an major rcieutdon in game population, stock depredation and the occasional attacks on humans is an acceptable cost for the reintroduction of wolves.I don't agree. I don't say kill em all, but I'm quite satisfied to see them rare in the wild.

        April 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  24. Pete

    I wonder what would be healthy wolf:elk, coyote:small game ratios for the park.

    January 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  25. AJ

    If you're visiting a national park, just go out in big land rovers like they do in African Safaris. I think it's a great idea, charge like 30 bucks a person to pay for gas, labor, and security. Go see nature in a way you won't get eaten. Go see Yellowstone🙂

    January 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  26. Adam

    I live in Montana and we are seeing that wolves eat more than elk. In some places elk populations have been cut down by more than half since the wolves showed up. And without the abundance of elk, wolves are looking to other large prey. Live stock from sheep to horses have been killed by wolves, and all any one can say is sorry. Wolves need to be managed (hunted).

    January 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • alf564

      Yea and back to crowded areas so wasting disease can be spread easier. Florida Panthers eat deer so locals leave their sheep and goats out in pastures...Panthers eat them also. FWC tells these IDIOTS to barn your animals at nite when Panthers hunt. Does this happer?? NOOOOO....these IDIOTS say kill or relocate the Panther....They should NOT be allowed to own animals...

      January 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • Boomer in Mo

        Obviously you have never ranched on 30,000 acres with 500+ head of cattle. Barning them at night is not an option. We have 253 acres and 40 cow calf pairs in Mo. The barns we have are for hay and a few horse stalls. The cattle would die of heat prostration on summer nights in them anyway. My uncles to bring their sheep in close to the house at night and the dogs watch over them to keep the coyotes away.

        January 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Warren

      I contacted the Montana wildlife people and was told that the wolves had killed about 375 head of live stock the previous year or about 1(one) a day. Considering the amount of livestock in Montana that does not sound like a very large number. IN the last few years here in Kansas I know of that many head being lost to the heat in a week.

      January 6, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  27. AbovenBelow

    What happens when all the Elks are gone like back in the 20's. The wolves are already going outside the park. No walking out your camp spot by yourself anymore.

    January 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • alf564

      In YOUR dream world only rancher !!!

      January 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Stormkith

      I'm sure the professional wildlife experts have thought of the consequences of reintroducing wolves to the area. And it was never a good idea to walk out of your camp alone.

      January 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • Michele

        August 10th I suspect the bgeigst reason for this is that there was no way to control the colors of the status bar prior to mango. This meant that you'd lose the top of the screen to a solid block of the current theme color. If using a forced theme or a different color or image for the page background then this could look particularly bad.I expect lots of people to add them in with the Mango tools as full control becomes available. (Including making the background transparent.)

        April 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  28. Jeff

    What a powerful reminder of the importance of the natural order. As good national parks conservancy continues the world will be reminded that the best practices in wild places is to thread very lightly. Ecosystems left to their own devises are naturally correcting. Thanks to the Professor for a balanced study. Yellowstone is the most remarkable natural place in our great country!

    January 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

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