The Missing Piece

wolf!… What perceptions do we have of this animal? One of hate and misunderstanding, or one of wisdom and of truth? The truth is, that there has never been a person killed by a healthy wild wolf in North America. Wolf attacks, which have occurred in past years in europe, were due largely by wolves diseased with rabies and or dogs. Even attacks on livestock are misrepresented. In the state of Minnesota, where there are about 4,000 wolves, there is only about a 1% predation rate by wolves on livestock. The truth is, if there is adequate prey base for the wolf, and these animals have been raised on this prey bases there will be little or no predation on livestock.

When wolves roamed throughout the plains buffalo was there main food source. After the europeans destroyed the buffalo and other wildlife populations there was no other prey base for the wolf, other than domestic livestock. Ironically, there is evidence that wolf population’s initially increased after the europeans began settling the great plains. This is due largely to their new abundant food source, domestic livestock.

The Adirondack State Park, located in the northern part of New York State, is a very large wilderness area. The park encompasses six million acres, approximately the size of the state of Vermont. The wolf has not been in the adirondack’s for over 100 years. The park is a prime wilderness area with adequate prey base and low domestic livestock. The reintroduction of the wolf into the Adirondacks either through natural means or through a reintroduction process would-be a profound statement of our commitment to erase some of the ills of the past.

Hunters argue that the restoration of the wolf into the Adirondack’s would lower the chances of a deer kill. In severe winters over 30% of the deer population die mostly from starvation. These weaker animals would most probably fall victim to predation by wolves. The Native Americans stated this most profoundly "for it is the caribou which feeds the wolf…but, it is the wolf which keeps the caribou strong." The gene pool of the prey species would only benefit from restoration of the wolf into the Adirondack’s. Coyote populations would be lowered if the wolf were to return to the northeast. In fact, it is not only the wolf which benefits from a kill but also the many flora and fauna; vegetation is allowed to grow at a greater rate and animals like crows, ravens, eagles and foxes all benefit from an easy dinner.

In reintroducing the wolf we are not only talking about the wolf per se, but a healthy well-balanced ecological system. A system that works on its own. We believe that all systems will benefit from the restoration of the wolf into the adirondack’s; i.e., the forest, the animals, the hunters and the Adirondack economy.

Yellowstone National Park and Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario Canada is a great example of how the wolf can benefit the economy. This is a quote from park staff at Algonquin; "for it is the wolf, why the park is world famous" thousands of park visitors have been thrilled at the sound of there mournful howls. Tourist accompanies park staff and goes on wolf howling expeditions. They do this to hear wild wolves answer imitation howls by park naturalist and tourist.

On behalf of the wolf, thanks.

copyright © 2005 Northeast Ecological Recovery Society, Inc. all rights reserved.