Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

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Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by BlackWarrior » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:40 am

I think there are many ways to see this situation.
I feel that if wolves, now off the endangered list, is only going to cause wolves to be placed back on the edge, than why change anything?
Since being placed under federal protection nearly four decades ago,the resurgence of the American wolf population has been a howling success. Just over 6,000 of the animals now roam portions of 10 U.S. states outside Alaska,and they are stars of a growing wildlife tourism industry from Yellowstone National Park to Minnesota's Boundary Waters.

Last week,the Obama administration declared that wolves in Michigan,Minnesota, Wisconsin and portions of adjoining states have recovered from widespread extermination and will be removed from the endangered species list. Coupled with an earlier move that lifted protections in five western states,the administration's decision " puts the gray wolf at a historical crossroads —one that could test both its reputation for resilience and the tolerance of ranchers and hunters who bemoan its attacks on livestock and big game," particularly elk and deer,notes the Associated Press.

After the Department of Interior took wolves off the Endangered Species List in May, Idaho wildlife officials announced a plan,taking effect this month,that would rely on snare and leg-hold trapping and helicopter-borne sharpshooters to kill as many as 75 wolves in mountainous terrain near the Montana border.

Montana's Department of Fish,Wildlife and Parks,meanwhile,has extended its wolf hunting season past a Dec. 31 deadline. Just 105 wolves have been taken so far,the New York Times reported earlier this month,and officials wanted hunters to harvest 220.

And starting Jan. 27,barring another court reversal,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will let farmers,hunters and pet owners in Michigan's Upper Peninsula kill wolves that threaten livestock and dogs,the Detroit Free-Press reports.

Since the late 1980s,more than 5,000 wolves have been killed legally,according to an AP review of state and federal records. Hundreds more have been killed illegally over the past two decades in the Northern Rockies alone.

Biologists are confident that neither legal hunts nor poaching will push wolves back to the brink of extinction,the AP reports. And what hunters and ranchers see as a threat,increasing numbers of tourists are appreciating as a mythic symbol of the wild.

Despite their elusiveness,wolves have become "a powerful economic generator for tourism" in communities near Yellowstone National Park,says Kurt Repanshek of National Parks Traveler. A 2006 study projected that Yellowstone tourists who come to watch wolves spend $35 million a year on those trips.

The animals are stars elsewhere,as well: In Ely,Minn.,the International Wolf Center offers everything from fuzzy wolf slippers (now on sale) to a "Track the Pack" winter study trip through northern Minnesota,while Oregon Wild launched a recent contest to to suggest names for "OR-7," a two-year-old male wolf roaming the Cascade Mountains near Crater Lake National Park. The group hosted two of its own wolf-themed excursions last summer.

And just east of San Diego in the historic mountain town of Julian,the California Wolf Center invites visitors to view highly-endangered Mexican gray wolves,as well as a pack of Alaskan gray wolves.
>> http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations ... w/592004/1
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tita » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:50 pm

It depends on how you view it: it could be good or bad. There is what you stated above:
BlackWarrior wrote:I think there are many ways to see this situation. I feel that if wolves, now off the endangered list, is only going to cause wolves to be placed back on the edge, than why change anything?
And while I do agree with that to a point, I believe it is more of a good thing. Doesn't this mean gray wolf populations are now more stable?
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Ameerie » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:09 am

What a great question Nigh! My opinion is that for the wolves to finally be off the endangerd list is sort of bad. Why I say this is cause hunters will just hunt them all again and they will be just placed back as endangered. Or people will just comeup with a proposterous excuse on to hunt them again... But its good to hear there not going to be extinct.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by BlackWarrior » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:00 am

I do understand your perspective as well Tita. It makes sense. But as Ameerie said:
Ameerie wrote:What a great question Nigh! My opinion is that for the wolves to finally be off the endangerd list is sort of bad. Why I say this is cause hunters will just hunt them all again and they will be just placed back as endangered. Or people will just comeup with a proposterous excuse on to hunt them again... But its good to hear there not going to be extinct.

Bringing them off the list proves that their numbers have gone up and their populations are more stable. But with coming off the list is the right to hunt wolves once more. And as seen in the article, many wolves are to be killed. Is this good for the wolves? Surely there is a reason behind the great demand in the hunting of wolves?
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tita » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:15 am

If they're kept on the list, isn't there also the risk of overpopulation?
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by BlackWarrior » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:56 pm

Tita wrote:If they're kept on the list, isn't there also the risk of overpopulation?

Exactly! This is where the other side comes in.. what really is better?
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Ameerie » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:53 pm

Heres a thought. If they do take them off they will be elgible to be hunted. I think they should remain to be un hunted like other animals. I saw that there might be a over population that could happen. Well if you think about it when wolves over populate the deers decrease which leave the wolves starving and mostly die. When that happens the wolf population decreses as the deer population increase. When the deers over populate thats where the wolves dominate again... You get the picure? So it really doesent matter what catagory they fall in on being endangered or not, they just need to be illegal to hunt.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tita » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:40 pm

I wish a balance could be found. People should stop interfering in so much and let nature run its own course. Wolf hunting also needs to be stopped as well, although that's likely not going to be happening anytime soon. Honestly I think this cycle is going to continue for a while.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by BlackWarrior » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:10 am

Stable populations == off the list == allowed to be hunted == imbalance in the populations... again..
Not that hunting is bad in ALL ways, it does keep populations in tact, so maybe this cycle is important for the survival of wolves.
If their numbers are stable, then why increase the chance of over-populating? If hunters decrease their numbers for a certain period of time, as long as months are given to the wolves to repopulate and such, maybe this is good for them?
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tita » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:41 am

BlackWarrior wrote:Stable populations == off the list == allowed to be hunted == imbalance in the populations... again..
Not that hunting is bad in ALL ways, it does keep populations in tact, so maybe this cycle is important for the survival of wolves.
If their numbers are stable, then why increase the chance of over-populating? If hunters decrease their numbers for a certain period of time, as long as months are given to the wolves to repopulate and such, maybe this is good for them?
I see what you're getting at, Night. ^^ Perhaps it is good for them. It would keep the wolf population in control, and I don't think hunters would be allowed to hunt wolves to endangerment or even near-extinction anyway.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Ameerie » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:08 pm

We dont need hunters doing natures job
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tita » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:14 pm

Ameerie wrote:We dont need hunters doing natures job
That's very true. Although I don't think hunters will ever truly stop. It might not be all bad though. c:
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by La Striata » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:18 am

Ameerie wrote:We dont need hunters doing natures job
For all we know, nature might want wolves gone. That's what happened to the gorgonopsids, the smilodons and the entelodonts.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Koa » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:56 am

Gray wolves will not be going extinct in the U.S. for awhile. The majority of them have reached a stable population and that is that. In this situation, there is no need for protection any longer. I doubt gray wolves will get to that dire point where they need it again. If they do, it won't be soon.
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Re: Wolves off the Endangered List - Good News OR Bad?

Post by Tarbtano » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:21 pm

La Striata wrote:
Ameerie wrote:We dont need hunters doing natures job
For all we know, nature might want wolves gone. That's what happened to the gorgonopsids, the smilodons and the entelodonts.

La Striata does have a bit of a point. The Gray Wolf is by far one of the most widespread carnivora of all time, yet nowhere in its entire range is is the dominate predator. In North America it is overpowered by Brown bears, Polar Bears, Cougars, Jaguars (historically); and Alligators (historically). In Asia, it faces huge competition from Tigers, Dholes (who has a pack structure more structured and organized then lupines), Brown bears, Hyenas; and leopards. And judging from what occurred in Prehistoric Europe roughly 30,000 years ago, Wolves are vastly surpressed and almost run out of the continent by Cave Hyenas and Lions.
We also know it was because of lions, painted dogs; and hyenas that wolves never were able to even enter Africa without major repercussions (vastly diminished size and reclusiveness).

The Gray Wolf itself has only been in what is now the US for roughly 12,000 years, even less time then humans (crossed Arctic sea flow from Europe and landed 25,000 BC). It was only in the last 6,000 they managed to to grow to a respectable size with the fall of the Dire Coyote (Canis dirus). So the North American wolf in the classic image of the bulky, large Timber wolf we see today has only been around for less then 5,500 years. The fossil record tells us species can have dozens of subspecies at a time, and with only a few surviving a few thousand years. While the Timber Wolf is by no means low in number, survival in the wild itself in the millennium ahead is not guaranteed.

If I took every single human and human structure off the planet tomorrow, and flashed forward 1 million years; I'm honestly not even sure if there'd be a single wolf in North America. There may, there may not. By then it may have changed into a form we wouldn't even recognized.

Here's one such scenario Wolves would naturally go extinct in North America if all human influence was gone.


-100 years A.M (After Man)
Cougar populations boom, the new carcasses available cause increase in Brown bear numbers and size. Wolf, Cougar, and Bear ranges spread to Appalachian mountains

-1,000 years A.M
Cougar, Brown bear, and Wolves spread into Eastern seaborder states
Cougar size increased to roughly that of a jaguar, Grizzly Bear size capped at roughly 1,000lbs (up from roughly 650). Increased Bear size means wolves are much less able to defend carcasses and dens from Bears, while the bears' capability to do the inverse increased. Larger cougars are now more easily about to bring down larger prey quicker and more effectively then wolf packs, and large prey wolves do bring down is often stolen by bears.
Brown Bears unable to spread into Florida and Louisiana due to habitat inhibiting ability for bears to smell carcasses and massive American Alligator and Crocodile population. Wolves however cannot spread either due to unsuitable habitat for running predators (relatively thin legs and small paws cause drastic loss in running speed due to quite literally getting bogged down)

Wolf size showing signs of decreasing to allow smaller prey to be more easily taken

-3,000 A.M
Average Wolf size in the Mid-west and East down 25 lbs. Wolves slowly being pushed out of Eastern States by Coyotes. The Eastern Coyotes are nearly the same size, and with superior reproduction capabilities and adaptability, are out-competing wolves for small and medium game kills.

Large Jaguar and coyote population inhibiting wolves from Moving into Southern mexico


-4,500 A.M
Wolves extinct in Eastern States. Eastern Coyotes grown larger, now regularly breaking 80lbs in size and spreading through Application mountains, already occupying Florida, displacing wolves as they go. Mexican Gray Wolf and Red Wolf extinct


-6,000 A.M.
Eastern Coyotes become new subspecies, the Giant Coyote, Canis latrans amplus. Male regularly breaking 90lbs. Wolves west of Yellowstone showing diminishing in size reaches 120lbs (down from originally 150)


-8,000 A.M
Wolves displaced by Giant Coyote in all ranges East of Mississippi River


-8,050 A.M.
Giant Coyotes cross Mississippi, displacing wolves on the rivers edge


-9,000 A.M.
Giant Coyotes grow to 110lbs, and reach Yellowstone. Cougars have evolved into 'Dire Puma', 'Puma robutus'. Skeletal traits now more akin to members of the Panthera genus and males now regularly break 300lbs. Dire Pumas prohibit wolves from regaining former size.


-9,015 A.M.
Giant Coyotes out compete wolves in Yellowstone.


-9,900 A.M.
Giant Coyotes currently caps off in size at 125lbs, but show signs of being noticeably more robust. Larger pack size, superior adaptability; and better organization allows Giant Coyotes to protect their dens and kills more effectively then their lupine counter parts. Wolves are driven out of most of the Western states and Canadian territories. Wolves now only exist in North America in the Arctic ranges and west of the Rockies.


-11,000 A.M.
Wolves out competed in areas West of Rocky Mountains. Populations now only remain in Alaska and the Northern areas of the North-Western Territory (CA) and Rupert's Land (CA)


-13,000 A.M.
Giant Coyotes become much more robust, now germinating into the species 'Canis potens', the Grizzled Coyote. Behavior and appearance greatly resembling the extinct Dire Coyote (Canis dirus). Wolves outcompeted in Alaska. A massive Solar Flare causes a temporary spike in temperature over the North pole, forcing most Arctic Wolves south and adapt to sub-tundra climates


-13,700 A.M.

The Grizzled Coyote species has branched off into several subspecies by now, one of which begins to adapt to Sub-tundra environments.


-14,500 A.M.

the Sub-tundra variant of the Grizzled Coyote out-competes the decedents of the Arctic Wolves. The Gray Wolf is now extinct in North America.




Unlikely? Yes, but based on the paleontological record. Once a species becomes too widespread and subject to genetic drift and is wrestled out of its dietary position; it is very easy for a new competator to out-compete it. This is exactly what happened to three former North American carnivores, Hyaenodon horridus, Amphicyon ingens, and Daeodon shoshonensis.
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