How many of you have had the chance to visit Yellowstone National Park? Now how many have seen wolves there?
Today you’re going to hear about the massive effects the Gray Wolf had on being removed and then reintroduced to Yellowstone. I asked if those of you who have been to Yellowstone have seen wolves because seeing them is actually quite uncommon. According to the YNP Official Wolf Count, in 2009, there were around 96 wolves in the whole park. Little was known over 70 years ago about impact of the wolves’ removal and how they were needed to keep the Park balanced and healthy. Wolves were hunted and killed in the Yellowstone region and many other areas of the West beginning in the late 1800’s. Overview
The restoration of the Gray Wolf into Yellowstone was a wise decision, made by scientists, in which the forest was replenished, the ecosystem restored, and the increase of the wolf packs lead to a balanced healthy environment Question
Toward the end of my speech, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding my remarks
Learning about the impact the wolves had on the environment is important. It teaches us that one species has the ability to effect all others.
The removal of the wolves from Yellowstone National Park had a profound effect on the landscape and fauna. ’Keystone’ predators such as wolves were known to influence the population of other animals that they preyed on directly such as elk, deer, or moose. With the wolves no longer a threat for these grazers, the moose and elk were free to feed undisturbed. And thus their populations skyrocketed. Elk especially started to graze on young aspen, willow, and cottonwood seedlings. Wildlife biologists, studying the effects of wolf reintroduction, found populations of aspen and willow trees dating before 1920 and after 1995, when the wolves had returned, but few in between those 75 years. Now aspen and...