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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Wolves important to the ecosystem?
h_talbot wrote:
... Development plays a very small role in Idaho's elk populations. It all comes down to calf survival which in some units is becoming non existant.

Calf survival ... we spent some time with a trail crew in Unit 27. They watched a herd of elk all summer long near their work area. Each week there was one less calf. By end of summer - no calves. About that time one of their horses wandered off - not to return.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Wolves important to the ecosystem?
Serious Hunter wrote:
h_talbot wrote:
... Development plays a very small role in Idaho's elk populations. It all comes down to calf survival which in some units is becoming non existant.

Calf survival ... we spent some time with a trail crew in Unit 27. They watched a herd of elk all summer long near their work area. Each week there was one less calf. By end of summer - no calves. About that time one of their horses wandered off - not to return.

Serious Hunter......strangly enough, The land we were looking at when I heard the above story......Unit 27. Cry

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Location: NE Minnesota
Joined: 01/14/2004
Posts: 144
Wolves important to the ecosystem?
h_talbot wrote:
You don't even have any elk so SHUT UP about how you know all about wolves inpact on elk populations.

No we don't have elk right here(there is a small population in Northern WI that is doing fine with wolves that have dispersed from MN). But we do have another large ungulate in the moose. The wolves and moose have been playing cat and mouse for longer than we've been here. Which is what I believe is one of the problems in your area. It will take time for the elk to get back their wariness. How many generations of elk have there been since wolves were reintroduced? Not many. It will take more than 12 years for these animals to find their(for lack of a better term) "balance". One of the many problems in America today----I want it my way, right now!

As for me having no concept of the wilderness areas you are dead wrong. Just because I live in Northern MN doesn't mean I've never left the state. I have been many places throughout the west- every state but Washington to be exact. And not just driving through-hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, working. Maybe you're the one who needs to get out more. Maybe then you'll see that it takes more than complaining about a problem to get it solved. I don't know you but maybe you are the type of person who throws their hat in the politcal ring and get's involved in issues instead of just complaining about them. If so, good for you. You are entitled to your opinion, I just think in this case it's wrong. Big smile

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 02/28/2006
Posts: 162
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

Stillhunter, I take issue with you impuning my opinion as just complaining. I have as much a stake in what happens in Idaho's public lands as any man could. I get out plenty and know plenty about the public land around me. I grew up with people who have been directly affected by the wolves. I'm not saying we need to completely eliminate them, but management needs to start now with the thining down of some packs in some areas and the prevention of migration into populted areas where they interact too much with livestock and recreators. The wheels of the federal government are moving way to slowly and in the meanwhile, irreverseable damage is being done to herds in some areas. You wolf supportors keep talking about "with proper managment" yadda yadda, but then nothing is done year after year. Excuse me if we panic a little around here. As for you theory about the elk needing to climatize to the presence of wolves, That could take lifetimes and I will not wait that long. Belive me our poloticians out here are hearing about it, but nothing is being done because the federal process is controlled but a bunch of ex hippie nut jobs who don't care about anything but the next poll numbers or the occaisonal stray intern. I do respect your opinion and likewise I believe it is musguided. Oh, by the way I love the walleye fishing in Minnesota, too many trees though.
Hank

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Location: Lewiston ID
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 61
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

stillhunter you guys in MN according to your DNR harvested roughly 200,000 deer in 2004. Idaho fish and game records state that 38,993 deer (whitetail and mule deer combined) and 13,857 elk were taken by hunters. You guy have more meals for the wolfs to eat so why don't we send you our wolves and everyone will be happy we wont have wolves, they will still be alive and eating well, but getting fat on your critters not ours. But back to reality of all the members (of this site) who wiegh in on this subject none are saying to kill them all. We are just wanting some sort of management becuase they are out of control. The pics I posted on here are from an area that according to IDFG had the highest pop of elk per square mile in Idaho and now there is hardly any. Also this is some of the most remote country in Idaho. The pics are from unit 10 and I hunt alot in unit 17 aswell and camp there all summer. This to was once loaded with elk and now the wolfs are so thick that the elk don't even talk anymore. That is sad when a bull wont bugle becuase he will get eaten.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

We had wolves before the `intro'. They were few, secretive, and in balance. What is so sacred about [a new] balance with something un-natural?

My analogy is this: right now the US is somewhat in balance with the diseases that could ravage our population. Why cross the border and bring back some aggressive killer (e.g. a disease) that decimates our population, and finally comes into balance.

We had wolves. We had elk. The current wolf situation is two-fold unnatural - 1) it is a different wolf; 2) the current wolf has no predators ... wait! - threefold - and perhaps the most permanent: 3) the wolf we did have - the natural one - has probably also been killed out (by the new wolves).

(Now I must go to my other job.)

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Joined: 01/10/2006
Posts: 14
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

I think the whole theme (from what I've heard from others and on this board) is MANAGEMENT. I think the FED has moved to slowly taking the wolves off of the "list" and now that they have been introduced to different areas, and the populations have flourished, it should be a case where the wolves are taken off of the "list" as soon as possible, and left up to the states to manage.

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Joined: 01/10/2006
Posts: 14
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

I think the whole theme (from what I've heard from others and on this board) is MANAGEMENT. I think the FED has moved to slowly taking the wolves off of the "list" and now that they have been introduced to different areas, and the populations have flourished, it should be a case where the wolves are taken off of the "list" as soon as possible, and left up to the states to manage.

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Joined: 05/29/2006
Posts: 1
Re: Wolves important to the ecosystem?
Summit Hunter wrote:
I don't know, what do you all think about this?

I know the enviros love talking about the importance of predators in the ecosystem, and I admit that the idea of wolves returning to Colorado has some appeal to me. But I wonder if a populated State like Colorado could actually live in proximity to wolves.

Study shows wolves' importance to ecosystems
Monday, August 1, 2005; Posted: 3:21 p.m. EDT (19:21 GMT)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The loss of once-plentiful wolves in a part of Canada's west allowed the elk population to mushroom, pushing out beavers and songbirds and showing the importance of top predators, Canadian researchers said on Monday.
Although scientists have long noted that the loss of even one species can have profound effects, the report is one of the first large-scale studies to show clearly the widespread consequences of losing a predator at the top of the food chain.
Mark Hebblewhite of the University of Alberta, and colleagues studied what happened in "a serendipitous natural experiment" when wolves returned to part of the Bow Valley of Banff National Park in Alberta.
Wolves were driven out in the 1960s "because that's what we did then," Hebblewhite said.
"The first wolf pack recolonized the Bow Valley of Banff National Park in 1986. High human activity partially excluded wolves from one area of the Bow Valley, whereas wolves made full use of an adjacent area," the researchers wrote in their report, published in the journal Ecology.
Willow trees, river-loving birds called willow warblers and American redstarts, and beaver dams once were common in Bow Valley and surrounding areas. But in the areas where wolves remained scarce and elk populations mushroomed, these plants and animals were less common.
The wolves clearly had a major effect on elk. Elk populations were 10 times as high in areas where there were no wolves, Hebblewhite's team found.
This meant that elk could be found in suburban backyards, and sometimes on hiking trails.
"Seven people are sent to hospitals every year on average by getting into a fight with an elk," he said. "They are 250 kilograms (550 pounds) on average so you don't want to get into a fight with one. But being a park they couldn't just go willy-nilly shooting elk and as a society we have advanced beyond wildlife management by just shooting things."
The elk browsed on tender young willows, leaving little for beavers and willow-dwelling birds. Aspen trees seemed less affected.
"We also found that as elk populations climbed, active beaver lodges declined, probably because beavers could no longer find sufficient trees with which to build their dams," Hebblewhite said in a statement.
But in the parts of the park where wolves returned, the elk populations in affected areas fell and willows were coming back.
While other predators such as grizzlies might have played a role, Hebblewhite's team noted, bears were never completely driven from the park while wolves were.
"Yes, wolves are ecologically important. It (the study) bolsters the importance of conserving species like wolves and other top carnivores," Hebblewhite said.

Shame on You!

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Wolves important to the ecosystem?

I'd rather eat elk than beaver or willows.

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