15 replies [Last post]
cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Re: Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation "Calls Out" Wolf Groups

I'll agree that there are many factors to consider when trying to determine a species decline. There may be more to consider, than just the predation by the wolves. In fact studies show that the pressure wolves are creating for elk, is causing starvation and low reproductive rates.
http://www.nrahuntersrights.org/Article.aspx?id=2662
I would say that data does point to wolves having a direct affect on the decline of elk populations in geographic areas were wolves are on the increase. Look at states that have so far escaped the wolves, the elk are doing just fine. But it won't last long, it appears that wolves are every bit as prolific as coyotes.

Did you read the above linked article that Bitmasher posted? It was quite the experiment and should be an eye opener for all who defend wolves.

I agree that elk numbers are (or in certain cases were) high in some areas, but I'm not willing to see them get wiped out by wolves.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Re: Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation "Calls Out" Wolf Groups

Don't get me wrong...I'll shoot a wolf if I get the chance (up here, anyway). I personally have a strong belief that policy should be determined by objective science -- not emotion or science skewed to suit emotional agendas. I believe that wolves and elk will find a balance. I've seen the predator/prey relationship expressed in species after species, and the most common misperception held by the public is that the balance between predator and prey is some sort of static ratio expressed in stable numbers. That simply isn't the case -- it's more like a pendulum. The pendulum swings back and forth, but overall stays within certain bounds.

However, you can't affect one end of the pendulum without affecting the other. If you manage elk as a game species but not wolves, it'll get out of balance. Protect wolves at all costs, and the effect on the other side of the pendulum will be that there will be fewer elk tags available in order to keep herd numbers up. There's no doubt that wolf reintroduction has been highly successful. But the environmentalists need to be reminded that the point is to pull a species back from extinction, or at least restore something from the past -- not keep it on the endangered species list in perpetuity.

We actually have the same debate up here in Alaska. Caribou herds decrease, and people start blaming wolves. So the wolf control argument runs rampant up here, too. You've no doubt heard some of it -- like bunny huggers freaking out about wolves being shot from aircraft. But you probably haven't heard the debate about natives wanting to control wolves by killing pups in dens. That's the way they traditionally always did it. Whaddya think PETA or Defenders of Wildlife would say about that?

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Re: Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation "Calls Out" Wolf Groups

I don't have a problem with some wolves, the key here is some - and only in some areas of the country. I really do believe that much of the lower 48 is not appropriate wolf habitat.

And yes the wolves must be managed, just like any other game animal, however Idaho is finding out right now exactly how difficult of a task that is. Wolves are smart and are not easy to hunt. So trying to keep wolf numbers in balance with their food supply is a daunting task. I would rather not have to deal with wolves at all. We have enough predators to deal with here in Colorado, and all of the western states for that matter.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Re: Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation "Calls Out" Wolf Groups

It is being reported that Alaska may have it's first recorded Fatal Wolf attack in it's history.

I still say "leave the Wolves alone".

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/12/alaska.animal.attack/index.html?section...

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Re: Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation "Calls Out" Wolf Groups

First RECORDED case. Given what's generally found, it's often tough to tell whether it was predation or scavenging. But it goes to show that the picture painted of wolves as benign to humanity is a myth. Our ancestors knew this stuff; it's easy for scientists in an era of few human/wolf interactions to blow off previous generations who are no longer around to speak for themselves.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation?shawn09151509/08/2009 10:31 am
Response for realtree regarding USOrather_be_huntin008/13/2004 14:10 pm
power belts and a wolfhunter12009/23/2011 06:58 am
All Types of Callshuntingguy60011/19/2008 15:46 pm
The Rocky Mountain Elk FoundationSage of the Sage803/11/2008 08:02 am