Lessons from Wolves

courtesy of Izilwane.org
by Jami Wright

Gray wolves have long been the focus of a contentious battle in the Rocky Mountain West, where wolf populations were decimated due to habitat degradation and aggressive extermination tactics. However, the species began their route to recovery in 1995 when, following the discovery by ecologists and biologists that restoring an apex predator to its natural habitat may increase local biodiversity, the federal government reintroduced the Gray Wolf (Canis lupis) into the Northern Rocky Mountains. The ecological impacts of wolves continue to teach scientists about the complexity of wildlife conservation and management. Much of that complexity lies in human perceptions regarding the social impacts wolves have on people, which often represent deeper conflicts among cultures, usually relating to land use.

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