Current Issues on Grey Wolves

Topics: Gray Wolf, Dog, Human Pages: 5 (2094 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Current Issues Paper

For quite a long time now an increased concern of wildlife has developed. This includes protection, conservation, global warming and the most important factor: our very own impact on the flora and fauna on this Earth. After some steady research in the extinction and diseases of wildlife I have discovered there are a lot of problems, some are man-made but a lot are unknown or natural. Which is interesting in itself, does this mean that all wildlife will soon die off no matter how hard we try to maintain it? Or does it mean we are not doing our part as protectors of the wild? What does that even mean to be a protector of wild? Isn’t that contradicting the very concept of being “wild?” The Grey/Gray American Wolf or common wolf is one of the largest members of the dog family. Surprisingly the Grey wolf is not actually grey; the coat can actually vary from shades of white to black. The Grey wolf looks similar to a domestic dog, with a strong body, a heavy head, wide temple and a very predominant jaw. The size of a wolf depends on the environment it resides in, Northern wolves are predominantly bigger. Wolves live in linked families which include the parents, their offspring and sometimes adoptee wolves. The way wolves communicate is by howling, whines, barks, growls, and even body posture. They only hunt things that are not considered food if it is seen as a major threat and prefer wild prey. Although the Grey wolf is one of the largest in the dog family, their numbers have greatly decreased. These decreasing numbers have been caused by generally by humans. These activities include destruction to its habitat, hunting, human intrusion, etc.

The main problem with Grey wolves is the fact that they are being removed from the endangered species list. The Grey wolf was on the brink of extinction in 2011and was removed from the list earlier this year. This is because people are beginning to feel them as a threat to their communities and felt that the wolves groups were becoming more predominant. With the Grey wolf not on the endangered species list, people are now allowed to freely hunt them. This is called “wolf management”. The de-listing now allows for trapping and killing wolves to be legal and so many have died due to this one mistake.

The endangered species list protects the Grey wolf from being hunted freely. Although they are not at risk widely for extinction, local populations of wolves are still threatened. A threat that is common among local populations is genetic bottlenecking which is caused by a population shattering. This is due to humans isolating the wolf’s habitats so they can only breed within that population. The reproduction rate then decreases especially when a new wolf from a different area tries to reproduce. Because the wolves are so isolated they are not used to being around different wolves and are greatly affected.

The human intrusion is one of the largest threats to the wolf population. Wolves are one of the greatest persecuted wild animals. Wolves are killed without a pause or thought towards their life. The wolves are killed for their coats, just out of pure fun and for the protection of livestock and human lives. People are fearful of wolves and for no reason at all. Wolves seldom attack livestock and humans. The people who kill wolves are usually uneducated or greedy hunters without a care for the wild. The second problem not to be seen as smaller than the first is that now wolves have recently been displayed as harmful and ruthless. People believe that if they are stranded in the middle of nowhere the ultimate threat to your survival is not frostbite or starvation but the “killer wolf”. The Grey wolf is depicted as a violent monster that tears off limbs, ripping people apart and terrorizing humans with snarls and growls. These violent incidents are displayed on commercials, and even becoming the main foundation of a movie called “The Grey”, Little Red Riding Hood,...
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