There have been huge efforts over the last thirty years to reintroduce wolves into the northern US after they were extinct in that area in the 1970s. The reintroduction has been successful but now their are problems with wolves eating live stock in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. There were 24 wolves shot in Montana alone last year after a record breaking number of livestock were killed.
I actually did my senior thesis on predator-human conflicts with the main focus being on the gray wolf. A case study performed in Wisconsin and Minnesota found that ranchers lose 0.02-2.6% livestock every year due to predators. While states are required to have wolf management plans to ensure that the populations continue to thrive, there is a lot of pressure to reduce the restrictions on shooting wolves. What many people don’t realize is how important wolves are to their ecosystem. Wolves facilitate carrion acquisition by scavengers and keep other animal populations at a natural level, reducing the need of wildlife management in that area.
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