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Conflicting Values in the Management of the Overpopulation of Wolves - Essay Example

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In the paper “Conflicting Values in the Management of the Overpopulation of Wolves” the author analyses gray wolves population, under the category of Carnivora. The western gray wolves have evolved from a canid ancestor and are believed to have inhabited North America…
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Conflicting Values in the Management of the Overpopulation of Wolves
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Download file to see previous pages They have occupied habitats throughout the North America other than areas such as “southeastern US” and parts of “California” (483). However, the increasing human population, coupled with the extensive development of agriculture, caused a decrease in their numbers and by the beginning of 20th-century gray wolves “nearly vanished from the eastern United States” (483). Being “ecosystem generalists” they have distinct concepts about their surroundings and they choose their habitat based on the availability of prey, especially ungulate populations (487). In areas where their population density is high, they become a threat to humans, ungulates, and other livestock. Thus, their ultimate fate depends on the ability of humans to coexist with them and protecting their “biological requisites” (497). With a current approximate population of just over “50000,” the gray wolf has been placed under the category of “threatened in Minnesota and endangered” in all states other than Alaska (497). ...
 Researchers such as Smith, Peterson, and Houston (2003), point to historical evidence of Isle Royale, where restoration of gray wolves about sixty years ago has entailed the complete elimination of coyotes apart from reducing moose population. Therefore, they argue that the restoration of gray wolves to YNP will also result in “similar effects to a degree” (Smith, Peterson & Houston 2003:330). On the other hand, several others contend that the delisting of NRM gray wolf has been a premature action. Further, they consider this step as insufficient to “address deficiencies” in the wildlife management policies and suggest that it will impair the maintenance of a “viable metapopulation” of wolves and expose them to the risk of extirpation (Bergstrom et al 2009: 991). It is also relevant that gray wolves, as predators, play a key role in the ecological balance by removing “sicker and weaker” animals of other species (Delisting the Gray Wolf 2013: 1). In the present situation, where the population of gray wolves keeps decreasing, it becomes necessary to maintain a metapopulation of this species as they are highly significant for balancing the ecological system. Analysis of the Controversies: Research evidence suggests that there has been a “95% decrease” in the historic range of the gray wolves that once have been abundant in the US (Curran 2011: 3). The evidence further attributes this decline to the “predator control programs” that have been sponsored by the US government (3). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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