In the Valley of the Wolves
Are Wolves at Risk?

Although the gray wolf remains an endangered — and therefore protected — species, wolves nevertheless face the same risks as any other animal species. Outside Yellowstone National Park, humans continue to be the greatest threat to the wolf; ranchers may kill wolves that attack their livestock, and hunters shoot them for sport. Despite their protected status, many people in the surrounding communities continue to harbor animosity toward the animals and view them as nothing more than a nuisance.

Within Yellowstone, wolves are shielded from these particular dangers, but “there are many other natural threats,” says biologist Mike Jimenez, the leader of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Recovery Project. “It’s not a free ticket.” Wolves can be kicked by the elk they are hunting, be injured in fights with grizzly bears, or, most commonly, get hurt during fights with other wolves. “The main cause of death among wolves is fighting each other,” Jimenez says.

However, he notes, “this is a sign of a very stable population,” and a way for the population to preserve a sustainable size. Unlike prey species such as elk, which can exist in enormous herds of many thousands of animals, large predators such as the gray wolf have small populations spread over very large territories. For example, Yellowstone is now home to 120 to 125 wolves in about a dozen packs, spread over more than 2 million acres. This, says Jimenez, reflects the natural carrying capacity of the region. Too many wolves can throw the ecological balance of the system out of whack just as easily as no wolves at all.

Disease is also an issue for the gray wolf — albeit a very natural one. Two years ago, canine distemper ravaged much of Yellowstone’s wolf population. “That year, two-thirds of the pups, which are the most vulnerable to the disease, did not survive,” Jimenez says. Distemper is not unique to Yellowstone; in the 1990s, many wolves in Montana were afflicted with the disease, which biologists suspect may have spread from domesticated dogs. (Wolves and domesticated dogs share a similar ancestry and many of the same diseases.) Parvovirus, another common dog disease, has also cropped up in the gray wolf. Mange, a skin disease that causes animals to literally scratch off large patches of their fur, has been a problem for at least one pack within Yellowstone, and for a few of the 15-odd packs outside of the park. Although the diseases can prove fatal to the animals that are afflicted, their occurrence is “well within the norm,” Jimenez says. “The population is healthy.”

  • Lorena

    I also enjoyed the movie and it also touched me i hope you play “The wolf that changed America” again.

  • James

    Dear PBS,

    I have enjoyed the Nature program about Sedan trying to catch Lobo.It was very moving. I request that you run “The Wolf That Changed America” every year. Thank you.

    Thanks,
    James

  • Virginia Gilstrap

    11/23/2008
    Dear PBS:
    I thoroughly enjoyed the Nature program about Seton trying to catch Lobo. It was totally moving and enjoyable. Would you please tell me where the Currumpaw Valley is situated in New Mexico. I lived in New Mexico for many years, but do not seem familiar with it. Could it be Cimmarron Canyon area??
    Thanks,
    Virginia

  • Joanne

    Dear PBS:
    My family looks forward to the Nature shows every Sunday. “The Wolf That Changed America” left a lasting impression on me. I think the more people get educated and feel connected with other living species , then we can live in harmony. My daughter, who is nine years old kept hoping for a happy ending for Lobo, but as we watched, it was not to be. Thanks for airing this touching story. It makes us want to learn more about the wolves and how we can help their survival. Thanks again,
    Joanne

  • Sally Muto

    Dear PBS: I too would like to know the area that Seton spent his time with Lobo. We have been all over New Mexico and don’t know the area he was in. Have the names changed? We now live north of Yellowstone and the wolves are fantastic! Thank you for the show, Sally

  • Ken

    The Boy Scouts of America let PBS in the organization’s Seton/Philmont museums? I thought that they were closed to researchers, like the National Scouting Museum in Texas.

  • bob ostrom

    the nature program ‘the wolf that changed the world’ was great.
    All dogs are decendent of the wolf, all dog lovers will love this powerful episode of nature

  • Gina

    Dear PBS: Thank you so much for this show. I have always loved wolves ever since I was a little kid and have always known that they are a very misunderstood animal. I hope that you show this for years to come.

  • lamebear

    As an advocate, and protector of wolves I was deeply moved by your program ‘The wolf that Changed America’. As a resident of Wyoming I hope that at least some Wyoming people, especially Ranchers, and so called Hunters got to see the program. For a short time this year, the protection for wolves in Wyoming was taken off, and at least one or two wolves were being killed everyday, until we got the protection put back on. The Wolf in Wyoming will be extinct unless they have, and keep protection! They are still being Poached for some reason!

  • Beth

    I remember reading the book about Lobo when I was a child, and it touched me deeply. I read it many times, and my heart was always sad for Lobo and Blanca. I have always loved wolves, and to see that story brought to life was a very moving experience for me. I will be going to the library to get the book, and read it again. Its been fifty years since I read it the first time,and I know that it will touch my heart the same as it did then.

  • meagan

    I love wolves os much.

  • Montana Man

    Just once I would like to see PBS and the mainstream media get something right. In above opening paragraph you state “Outside Yellowstone National Park, humans continue to be the greatest threat to the wolf; ranchers may kill wolves that attack their livestock, and hunters shoot them for sport.” We hunters do NOT shoot them for sport as they are and have been listed under the endangered species list. If you are going to show the wolves as the savior of the ecosystem, the least you could do is show a true conservation side to the story, such as the devestation that the wolves are having on the elk population in Yellowstone and the Bitterrot Valley of Montana to just name two places. Report the facts and let people decide on their own, not just the one sided view of PBS.

  • tcprath

    Why don’t you cover the wolf from the perspective of an Elk or a Moose? Or are there any left in Yellowstone? It was very sad to see that several of the wokf offspring did not make it. the bright side…hundreds of elk and moose might survive!

  • JW

    I agree with you tcprath. I am so frustrated that wolves are still being protected. When wolves were reintroduced the goal was to have 30 breeding pairs. Now it’s estimated that there are about 100 breeding pairs!! Sure they are a fascinating animal and they might have their place but that is way to many! They are decimating the elk and moose populations around the Park. We need to start hunting them to control their numbers. It is such bull**** that you people are talking about how the wolves are in danger. How about you make a show about the elk, moose, deer and educate the public on how wolves are affecting them.

  • EMM

    I would challenge both tcprath and JW to remember that elk populations only grew to non-natural populations sizes after wolves were removed by humans, and with wolf reintroduction, populations of ungulates are being held at reasonable carrying capacity for a functioning ecosystem that includes all trophic levels from producers to top predators. Several studies by state agencies and federal agencies stress that wolves have not decimated elk populations and only in some areas have wolves decreased herd sizes. In other areas herds are growing despite wolves. Humans have been shown to have a larger impact on game species than do wolves. Here are several points from a study in MT:
    1. In the Northern Yellowstone elk herd, a continued decline in elk numbers is likely unless total predator to elk ratios decline, even if hunting pressure remains low. (probably an area with too big a herd for a functioning ecosystem, so even if it is decreasing, it is still not close to disappearing).
    2. In most areas with low total predator to elk ratios, elk numbers have remained stable or have increased since wolf restoration began.
    3. Wolves influence elk distribution, movements, group sizes, and habitat selection to varying degrees in different areas, but hunting activity and hunter access have a greater impact on elk distribution, movements, group sizes, and habitat selection than do wolves.
    4. Elk and moose populations in northwestern Montana appear to be stable or increasing in the few areas that have sufficient data to examine long-term trends.
    5. In most of northwestern Montana, it’s probable that white-tailed deer are the major prey of wolves, yet the recent decline in deer numbers there is most likely due to poor fawn survival and recruitment during the recent spate of severe winters-in combination with high antlerless harvests by hunters and wolf-predation rates.
    6. Some areas in Montana are unsuitable to wolves because livestock depredations continually lead to wolf removals, preventing wolf numbers from increasing at rates similar to protected areas. In these areas, wolves are less likely to limit deer and elk populations.

    In my humble opinion, hunters have thousands of prey out there. Furthermore, wolves are helping elk herds heathier, if a bit smaller in some areas, by removing weak, old, or sick animals. You can see videos of wolves running along side elk as they judge the health of an animal…all the while they could have killed it, yet did not and moved onto a weak member of the herd. Human hunters do the opposite and by harvesting the best trophy animals are in fact causing future generations to be less robust. So, if you have a complaint, it should be against human hunters, and not native wild predators.

  • pcw

    To EMM
    Yes, I do agree with some of your point of view, but on the same note I will NOT feel bad about the wolves dying due to disease, that is usually nature’s way of tell you people that there is an OVER POPULATION of wolves. People and wolves are never going to get along, people have come to their land and are trying to make a living. Farmers, ranchers, etc… with their livestock so they can put food on the table for their families. Fine have the wolf, but keep the population in check and one way to do that is to hunt them. Like JW said it is illegal to hunt them. Their needs to be some balance with wolves also..I would love to see a documentary done on how the wolves have affected the other wildlife and people’s livestock that is next to the national park. Let’s get both sides of the story.

  • Jessy

    DearPbs:
    I hope that you would put on another show about wovles.Because I love to learn about some packs of wolves on are Earth.
    Sincerely,
    Jessy
    P.s. I love your shows.

  • Donna Beth Mitchell

    To EMM
    Kudos and God Bless you for defending well and defending with facts! If only there were more people like you…
    To PCW and the rest:
    Overpopulation-are you serious? You all are obviously the people who BELIEVED the wolf stories growing up, and have an unreasonable prejudice against a beautiful and necessary predator. Many prayers for your education and change of heart.

  • JW

    To EMM:
    “2. In most areas with low total predator to elk ratios, elk numbers have remained stable or have increased since wolf restoration began.” – Exactly, why are you talking about the elk populations being stable in areas that have LOW TOTAL PREDATOR TO ELK RATIOS?
    “In my humble opinion, hunters have thousands of prey out there.” – I do not want to have a hunting season on wolves simply for the opportunity to hunt another species, I just don’t want the numbers of the other animals to suffer.
    To Donna Beth Mitchell:
    “Overpopulation-are you serious?” – Yes we are serious, if you have watched the PBS shows then you should have seen that certain packs are dying off. This is a result of too many wolves living close together and passing disease from one to the other.

  • pcw

    To Donna Beth Mitchell: Yes, as a matter of fact I have grew up with “those” stories, and Yes I was told of the many stories of the wolves! Please, that is natures way of thinning out the wolves, its mother earth…………..nature!
    Please…….I am educated, but are you? Wake up, smell the coffee.

  • kat

    yall should stop arguin!!! evrybuddy has a different view, that’s just life!!! there’s no need to argue about whose opinion is right! Cuz NOBODY IS RIGHT!!!

  • Toby Bridges

    Here’s a simple solution…Those who love wolves should watch old Walt Disney films. Those who recognize the wolf for what it is, a pestilence forced upon us by an ego driven U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that’s now pulling down deer and elk populations, simply need to take up arms and start shooting wolves. It’s time to do what the settlers of this land did a hundred years ago, eradicate the gray wolf from the Rocky Mountains – and for the same reason…they don’t mix well with humans, pets, livestock and other wildlife. They didn’t then, and still don’t today.

    Save An Elk Herd…Kill A Wolf!

    Toby Bridges
    LOBO WATCH

  • ellie

    how much have timber wolves decreased in yhe world

  • ellie

    toby brigdes is really mean. we should kill u

  • Toby Bridges

    ellie is really naive.

    And so is anyone else who thinks there is a place in the settled regions along the Northern Rocky Mountain chain for an unchecked, unregulated population of killing machines like the gray wolf. These predators are now wiping out elk populations that took a hundred years of conservation efforts to build back from the brink of extinction. If you think otherwise, take your arguments to where only those who think the same way can read and share your thoughts. The impact wolves are now having on elk and other wildlife is being felt…and recognized. In the Bitterroot Mountains of Western Montana, biologist reported the spring 2009 cow-to-calf ratio the lowest ever…since the beginning of such record keeping. And next door in Idaho, the elk herds have already been dealt a lethal blow – with elk populations 30- to 40-percent below where they were just 8 to 10 years ago.

    And in both of these areas, it would take 30 years for the herds to be rebuilt to late 1990s levels (before the impact of the wolf)…if every wolf were killed in those two states today. And that’s exactly where the sportsmen in these states will take it if the MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks; and the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue to drag their feet and fail to get wolf management under way.

    While wolf numbers continue to grow rapidly, elk numbers are in a serious nose dive. Coincidence? Only a fool would think so.

    Toby Bridges
    LOBO WATCH

  • green man

    It’s now Sept 16,2009 And the gov. “head man” of Montana has passed a bill allowing 800 wolves to be open season Just like Sarah Pallin did in Alaska hunting them from helocopters planes shooting them from flying aircraft on the tundra of the snow with no place to run and hide .
    Some sportman think this is hunting i say it just slaughter for their sick fun, puke puke.
    Montana for profit just like Pallin for PROFIT IN ALASKA. THIS IS A CARRY OVER OF THE BUSCH ADMINISTRATIONS POLICIES.
    This has been in the minds of Montana’s travel
    industry and for profit cold blooded murder.
    We have given up our duty to protest these creatures from sick hunger preditors that have had their fun at canned hunts and no are bored so they go after animals from the air and commit mass murder.
    Sara Pallin we are waiting for you when you try to sneak in to the next G.O.P. running for the Whitehouse we won’t forget !!!!!!

  • JSClaassen

    hy is it that humans continue to assume, that we are the ultimate species ? It is similar to the thinking , that if you are of a different Faith or Belief, you should not exist ???? On that basis, humans will certainly become extinct , especially if they eradicate all different or opposing beings. The Balance of Nature is common sense, and tolerence means that by mutual respect, we ( (animal-humans), vegetable, or mineral+)can coexist, as long as we maintain that balance. If we continue the disrespect for our environment, then we will be designing our own human extinction. As for me I choose to respect and work within my environment. and learn how to cherish the abundance it supplies and it’s breathtaking Beauty and be Grateful for it. Please take time to see the whole picture. Thank you for this time and space !!!

  • Marc Cooke

    I live in the Bitteroot Valley in Montana. I see elk many of the times I go out to the backcountry. The elk movement is changing no dougt do to the presences of the beautiful creatures. Gone are the days of the easy hunt. Sorry hunters but for me it has always been about fair chase anyways. Riparian areas are starting to recover from over grazing by ungulates (Deer and Elk). If you do some research on elk and deer population numbers you will see that for the most part ungulate numbers are increasing or at the least steady. Antelope numbers are increasing because of the presence of wolves. There is many more balanced positives that wolves unknowingly contribute to the eco system. What most Americans don’t know will anger them. Why is the cattle industry declaring out right war on wolfs and other predators? They have many tactics to accomplish this. The three “S”. Shoot the Wolf or other predator, Dig a hole and bury it, Shut up about what they just did. The also with great success have lobbied our political representatives to apply pressure for zero tolerance for wolfs and other predators. The cattle industries has a government agency at its call twenty four hours a day 365 a year. Its called Wildlife Services. Such a pleasant sounding (deliberately misleading) name. That does nothing but kill predators and other animal and birds that they believe are a nuisances to the cattle and ag business. This is just the tip of the ice berg. Wake up people and voice you disapproval that your wildlife are being killed by traps,snares, poisons,and shot by aircraft. Stand up and be counted. Those beautiful wolves of Yellowstone? Many were shot in Montana’s first wolf hunt. So much money and effort down the drain because hunters and cattle people dont want wolves.

  • Jessica

    That was an excellent wolf show on PBS. It’s great to see people taking action and helping an endangered species. Even though they are not on the endangered species list, I think they should be.

  • Maria

    I love wolve soooooo much!!!!!!!!! I think they are the awesomest and cutest animals ever especially little pups. But [Sad] the sad thing is that why don’t people care about wolves? I mean sure they are killing elks and mooses but they can produce more, right?!! Sure it’s sad to see the elk and mooses getting killed by wolves but they need to survive!!!!!!! I just wish people can at least have faith and hope for wolves i may be a 15 yr old highschool student but i will always have faith and hope for those animals and other animals also to survive.

  • WOLF

    WOLVES THAT BAD RAP. IT IS ABOUT SOMEONE STAND UP THE WOLVES PACKS IN UNITED STATE AND SUB AROUND AREA IN THE WORLD AREA

  • Susanne

    Interesting to read all the comments. Sad to note so much polarization regarding one necessary predator in the food chain. Sort of like religion, isn’t it! No middle ground to be found – except perhaps with comments by EMM and Marc Cook above. Good reading for everyone statistically speaking is March issue of National Geographic Magazine (The Wolf Wars). It tells both sides of the story, gives some sanity to the issues and tries to dispel myths and separate fact from false knowledge. I visited Yellowstone shortly after the wolf restoration program began. The Park was recovering from the fire; the elk were in horrible shape – residents in Jackson Hole fed them every winter because they had overbrowsed the vegetation everywhere and were starving – many were weak and suffering from disease – why? Overpopulation – no natural predators. The reintroduction of the wolves in great part have restored Yellowstone, at least, to a once again healthy ecosystem; the ungulates that remain are stronger and healthier and better able to reproduce and stave off predators. Every living organism has a purpose. Locally, I have seen certain species actually go extinct in isolation because of urban sprawl, elimination of predators, etc. I just don’t understand why the concept of “nature in balance” is so difficult to grasp.

  • Susanne

    Interesting to read all the comments. Sad to note so much polarization regarding one necessary predator in the food chain. Sort of like religion, isn’t it! No middle ground to be found – except perhaps with comments by EMM and Marc Cook above. Good reading for everyone statistically speaking is March issue of National Geographic Magazine (The Wolf Wars). It covers both sides of the story, gives some sanity to the issues and tries to dispel myths and separate fact from false knowledge. I visited Yellowstone shortly after the wolf restoration program began. The Park was recovering from the fire; the elk were in horrible shape – residents in Jackson Hole fed them every winter because they had overbrowsed the vegetation everywhere and were starving – many were weak and suffering from disease – why? Overpopulation, overbrowsing – no natural predators. The reintroduction of the wolves in great part have restored Yellowstone, at least, to a once again healthy ecosystem; the ungulates that remain are stronger and healthier and better able to reproduce and stave off predators. Every living organism has a purpose. Locally, I have seen certain species actually go extinct in isolation because of urban sprawl, elimination of predators, etc. I just don’t understand why the concept of “nature in balance” is so difficult to grasp..

  • Joanne

    Okay, people, you really should think over the facts of wolves more carefully. Toby Bridges, wolves are predators for a reason. They don’t kill for fun. They kill only to survive and they’re NOT killing machines. To everyone who thinks this should be in an elk’s perspective and that wolves deserve to die because of their killing elk, you should think more carefully. If wolves go extinct, then the entire food chain would go out of balance. The elk would roam more freely, grazing everywhere and killing plants and trees. With less and less trees, birds will lose nesting places and beavers won’t be able to build their homes and dams. Everything would go wrong just by removing one species. Wolves are important to the food chain of nature and when they eat some elk, then more plants and trees survive rather than die and birds and beavers would be able to build their homes. Wolves aren’t heartless killing machines, they’re just like people in their ways of life. They deserve a chance to be left alone by the human species. Anyone who believes in the tale of the “big bad wolf” should really learn more about wolves because wolves aren’t that big and they aren’t bad. They have reasons for everything.

  • druid

    Ok I’m sick of this. Listen up everyone its time to learn.
    First off there is one reason that the elk populations are decreasing right now and the reason is wolves. Alright? And now for the real shocker. IT IS A VERY GOOD THING THAT THEY ARE DECREASING!!!!! Look the reason they are decreasing is because the elk are being killed and eaten. The reason this is good? Elk were so high they were actually starting to destroy the environment they lived. When the wolves came into Yellowstone there were so many elk that they were basically feasting everyday. This caused the wolf populations to skyrocket which then caused the elk population to keep dropping. Now before everyone jumps down my throat let me explain what happens when the wolves start to get to big. THE WOLVES START TO DIE!!!! And guess what you fools this then allows the elk populations to… and this one’s a shocker…. recover! That’s right everybody! The elk populations recover! Now can you tell me what happens when the elk population recovers? That’s right the wolf population goes back up! And the kicker? This just keeps happening! =0 wooooooooow! Now take a guess as to how long that process takes. hmmmmm lets see they were reintroduced in 91′ it’s now 2010′ the elk population is beginning to stabilize while the wolf population is dropping. Id say the whole recovery process takes oh I don’t know about 30 years.

  • Ayame

    wolves should dying! it the order of live to kill! we kill cows and chicken should hunters come after us to? we are alike so wolves are not human they are still living things and they need to eat to survive just like us. so stop killing wolves!!

  • reality

    EMM – The disnification of this animal is one of its biggest threats. Your comments if “weak old and sick” give the illusion that the wolf kills in a compensatory manner (would have died anyway). Any and all studies worth any merit shows they kill mostly in an additive manner. Only a misleading wolf biologist will group “young”, “late stage pregnant cows” and “bulls after the rut” in the “week” group to give you that illusion! If the Federal Judge give any further protection to this non-endangerd non-threatened killer, it may be the worst thing for it….
    There is a growing resentment towards this animal. I was once a supporter of having “80″ wolves in Northern WI, as of today there are indisputable over 1000 wolves in northern WI. Our highly studied Clam Lake Elk here in WI tells the true story of the wolf!

  • Michael

    As to the question of where the Corrumpaw Valley is located, according to Robert Julyan’s _Place Names in New Mexico_ (and he is a very reliable source) this is a corruption of Corrumpa (Creek), a stream in Union County, New Mexico’s northeasternmost county. It becomes the N Canadian River in Oklahoma. Julyan acknowledges the Seton connection and suggests this is in fact the “Corrumpaw Valley.”

  • Roberta Soares

    The more I read, watch, learn, listen the more I realize it is humans that are decimating our earth, nature, wildlife, the balance in our world.
    Humans are the hunters and not necessarily for food any longer. Thrill of the hunt, clothing, entertainment, etc.
    We have invaded and killed off just about every indigenous animal, people, culture, in the name of progress.
    I see the wolf as a beautiful and necessary part of nature and our world.
    If any of us are going to continue to survive, we are going to have to learn to live together.
    I encourage you to see another film, Earthlings. It will break your heart to see what a great, civilized, industrialized nation/race we’ve become.

    Long Live LOBO!

  • jimrip

    IF YOU WANT NATURE TO SCREW UP,APPLY A HUMAN REMEDY—(NO MATER WHAT SIDE OF THE FENCE) . THE SAME LOGIC AS A YOUNG 235 YEAR OLD NATION TELLING OTHER NATIONS THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN EXISTANCE, WHAT TYPE OF SOCIETY THEY SHOULD BECOME…. THE EARTH ABIDES…

  • Mike

    I grew up in Union county NM and never heard this story. All I ever heard about were the number of cattle and horses lost to wolves in the ” old days”. There is a book titled “Never Cry Wolf” that deals with the same problem in Canada back in the early part of the twentieth century. It was written by a biologist named Farley Mowat. Everyone who has an interest in this issue should give it a read, it’s a great book.

  • Laura

    Curious to see what will happen to wild elk populations now that wolves are no longer on the endangered list.

    Please! Please! Please do a study and run an update once there are some results on what’s happened since the wolves have been “reclassified.”

  • curt47p

    elk are very tasty…..thin out the wolves….

  • tjbee2003

    My friends and I would like to see updates on this and related subjects now that the wolves have been taken off the endangered species list by congress and there are planned hunts on wolves.

  • Ken

    It’s about time the states got control of the wolf population/ problem. It’s hard to beleive that this got so far in the first place anyway. The damage done to the ecosystems by these non-native apex predators/ Canadian wolves is unbeleivable. They say that if every Canadian wolf was removed from the ecosystems that these idiots introduced them into that it would take 50 years for for these ecosystems to recover from the damange done by these non-native Canadian wolves

  • ty

    I live in MN and we have more wolves than any other state(except Alaska) 3000 or more according to the DNR. i respect and i think wolves are an amazing animal but they are just decimating the deer population in the northern portion at my hunting cabin near northome. this year i didnt see any deer but alot of wolf tracks. in a normal year i would see 10-20 deer and alot of big ones as well. the population around here is out of control. next year though MN is planing a hunt allowing up to 400 to be taken. the wolves will easily maintain their current population with this number. i for one will enter to get a chance to harvest a wolf. wolves are amazing animals, one of my favorite, but we need to find a balance to maintain the deer population but also keep the wolves.

  • the druid

    Ok I’m back and that means it’s time for everyone her to learn a little something about the way the way wolves affect the ecosystem.
    @ ty – I’m not sure you understand how it works. the reason you can’t see these deer is because for the first time in a long time they have to hide themselves. the ones that you can see tend to be the ones that get killed. the ecosystem will balance itself out.
    @ Ken- you are a moron. it doesn’t matter that these wolves are from canada it doesn’t change the breed which still would be living in the area today if humans hadn’t killed them all. they are grey wolves “Canis lupus” these wolves lived in yellowstone a pretty much the entire country until they were hunted to near extinction. also the reason these animals were reintroduced into the area was to fix problems the elk were causing due to over grazing. also according to one study taking place over decades the wolf has had no affect on the size of the elk herds (actually causing them to become more dense in order to survive) the biggest causes of population decrease that the study cites is human hunting and habitat use by the elk (meaning where they forage and the amount of nutrition they are able to gain which affects the birthing cycles) wolves tend to stay in a particular area and will maintain that space so long as they can these ranges do change based on the elk and other sources of food along with competition from other packs but when the elk realize that there are animals in the area that could hunt and eat them they do something that you probably would be to stupid to think of. THEY LEAVE THE AREA! that being said the hate campaign against these animals is completely unjust and because of idiot like you who don’t understand the deeper meaning of things and look only at the surface of what is going on these animals are going to be hunted again. these wolves are not savage killing machines rather they are simply creatures who are trying to make their way in the world that they were nearly forced out of. also check your facts don’t rely on what others say because not only does it make you sound like a moron but it distorts the facts and causes other naive people to follow you. thats what leads to these kind of battles in the first place idiot following idiots and people who know the facts trying to show them how they are mistaken.

  • disgusted

    There were only 4000 elk left out of 19,000 in the northern herd and that many by counting way up into Montana. This year they do not even have the guts to count because so few are left. The Norris/Firehole herd that does not migrate is expected to go extinct in the next few years. There are less than 50 left out of a steady 650-750 since counting began. It is very telling that those who want wolves the most and “love” them want them in our yards, NOT theirs. No doubt they adore wolves as long as they lose nothing and the wovles cost them nothing. Somehow when they saw just a little hide left of their own pet, I suspect their “love” would disappear.

  • Lorie Hammond

    We have to try to save them. I can’t stand to see this earth without the wolves. they hold great blessings to some of us that cry inside for them. please don’t let hate and fear kill them off. there is too much hate in this world that makes even me want to leave socitiy behind. Please don’t stop we must help them.

  • shea

    i love wolfs if they die out i will die my self you know i love them why not save them they are not vicious they are cute and funny animals who do not under stand our ways they are just trying to survive so why hunt them till they are all extinct

  • Faceless

    Yes, I agree with druid. The population balance will go around and around in circles, just like the food chain. (Isn’t it amazing how nature works like that?) I do not understand why people say wolves are dangerous little devils prepped to kill. Yeah sure, they kill livestock, but so do coyotes. What, do you need that cow to survive? When the wolves go for the livestock, it is usually when they cannot find food. Wolves are not human killers, in fact, more people are killed by hogs than by wolves. Get your lives together people. Wolves are amazing and beautiful creatures. ~Faceless

  • shea jackson

    i agree with lorie hammond she is right i can stand a world without wolves ether dont laugh but i even sometimes think i am a wolf i know its wiered but i love them dotn let them die :(

  • Tristen

    Wolves have always been an issue in our society. There is a reason why grandfathers, our great grandfathers, and our great great grandfathers exterminated them. We killed the wolves because they would kill the animals we hunted, our livestock, and pets.

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