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How Many Wolves Are Too Many?

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How Many Wolves Are Too Many?

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In 1922 the federal government passed a law that allowed wolves in Yellowstone National Park to be hunted. In just four years later the last wolf was hunted. In 1995, the gray wolf was reintroduced to the park. The government started off by introducing 31 wolves in the Montana and Wyoming parts of the park. Now 116 wolves now live and more then 75 pups.

The controversy surrounding the reintroduction of the wolves are many from both sides. Some local farmers are against it because some wolves hunt their animals. However, if the farmers can prove their animal was attacked by a wolf, then the government would reimburse them for the animals value. Another problem is that some taxpayers are against the reintroduction because it cost them money to get the wolves back into the park. Another issue for taxpayers is that they have to pay for the damage the wolves do to the farmer's animals.

The pro for the reintroduction is the ecosystem is healthier. With the reintroduction, the wolf hunts sick deer and elk. The weak are sorted out and the strong survive. The same goes for the wolves. The wolves that are injured or have diseased cannot survive. When they die scavengers get to eat their meat, which contributes to the ecosystem.

Another pro is more people come to Yellowstone National Park to see the wolves since they were extinct for more then 30 years. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, an average of 15,000 people see a wolf in Yellowstone a year. Douglas Smith, who is doing research about the wolves, recording a wolf sighting for 135 straight days from the park roads.

In other parks, the federal recovery program is going well. At Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, wolf's population reached 29, which is the maximum number to survive in the ecosystem. Those 29 wolves can easily live sustainable off the 210 square miles of land. The state of Minnesota has more then 2,500 wolves living and roaming the lands.

There are many...

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