One classic example is the deer population now. Hunters justify their sport by claiming that deer population is out of control and if they don’t control it then further damage will be done to the ecosystem. While this is true, the reason deers are so commonplace is because their natural predators have been killed off either directly, like coyotes who threatened farm animals, or through having their habitats destroyed.
Since the early 1900’s research has been conducted to appraise animal populations. Perhaps the most famous, Adolph Murie was the head of wolf research (1939-1941) in Denali National Park, then called Mt. McKinley National Park, and in charge of controlling the population in order to protect the Dall sheep. Although he was against the killing of wolves, he found a way to limit killing to the bare minimum. Wolves did not get full protection until 1954. Before that, in the decades following Yellowstone’s foundation in 1872, research was done on the coyote population and what their numbers did to other wildlife.
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