Predators Do More Than Kill Prey

A recent post in the online magazine Science Daily offers an interesting insight into the complex nature of the effects that predation has upon prey and the ecosystem. Those of you who visit this blog regularly, and who are locked in a heated battle of wills over claims that wolves are going to eat themselves out of business might want to read it [click here for the article]. Happy New Year!


66 responses to “Predators Do More Than Kill Prey

  1. sandy valencour

    Lord! If you get on line you will find that a case of burculosis had NEVER been passed to cattle and it has nothing to do with vaccine. Montana has cattle currently infected but it is from Elk! No one is going out to slaughter the elk or you kids wouldn’t have anything to play with come winter. Fact, please check it out.
    Next, wolves. The ranchers I know in Montana where there are timber wolves and Grizzleys take it into stride that they will lose some stock to both of these preditors. They don’t ask for money to replace and they don’t kill the preditors. If they do get a problem killer, they will try and trap and move it out of the area. If it returns, they may kill it. They know this was their turf before cattle or sheep. Next, there are many kinds of wolves. They look different due to environment. Timber wolves have shorter rounded ears due to freezing weather. Mexican wolves are slight build, pointed ears. They are all different. Wolves in the east…much to the chigrin of hunters, they have just been given the okay to re establish their wolf pack in Minnesota or Wisconsin, one of those states
    Food chain. Over here we have cougar problems. Their natural preditor was the grizzley that was hunted out years ago. This is the first year I am beginning to hear about griz in our state and am glad to hear it. Our cougars hang around homes built right up against a forest or in isolated areas and gosh, they wonder why the problem. Cause they built in the cougars area and shouldn’t have. These beautiful cats are becoming fearless and chasing pets right up to the front doors. The bears are also fearless, coming into yards for bird seeds north Seattle, East Seattle/Bellvue and south of Seattle. Of course if you build in the woods, you are gonna have a wild animal problem. Some want to kill out all the deer that eat on their flower beds or fruit trees.. Tell me, after we have taken all the land away from our wild friends, who we gonna take out next to make room for more homes and people?
    You guys argue to argue and no one is looking to solve any of this with common sense. We created the problem by breaking up the food chain when it was in balance. All ya gotta do is take out one things and it affects all things. While you guys fight over wolves, look around. They are slaughtering the yellowsone buffalo right under your nose. This is where MY PUBLIC LAND IS. Public land is not for grazing someones sheep or cattle. Public means it belongs to all amerians. Well, we just want ours for the wolves, grizzly, buffalo, wild horses and burros and anything else that needs to graze or hunt. While you are at it look at our Salmon supply. Nearly gone by over fishing but they want to blame the Orca and those rascally california seals that come up during salmon runs. Truth, those 100 miles nets that rape the ocean from the sand in the bottom to the top of the sea….they are killing everything in the nets from porpoise, whales,bottom feeding fish, sea urchins what ever they can haul up. And they kill what they don’t want. Call us what you want but I am 63 and watched everything slide into a black hole. Some animals are extinct in my time and others are in severe danger of going the same way. We are trying to bring the wolf back so your grandkids will know what one is. Education education education. We can all work together and save this planet and the life on her. Wolves bother your cattle, get a couple of Llamas to chase and fight wolves. Check it out, you have a computer. Grizzley bears, get a Killian Bear dog or two. Don’t think you could afford enough food to keep cats happy if you don’t have enough mice rats and other crawlies, but a coyotes can take many many many rodents out of your barns and fields. Grew up with them and have no fear at all. But I don’t chase them around either. If someone doesn’t want to solve his problem, he won’t listen to anyone or even concider another way that would work as win win thing. Too easy to just kill and let God take care him.

  2. Barb,

    See the discussion of taxonomy at the following link (especially the 2nd map):

  3. I’m still needing to clarify something. Are the wolves from Canada differently genetically than the original wolves from the USA? Or are they just larger?

    Did we try to re-introduce wolves by trying to increase the few remaining wolf packs in the Michigan-Minnesota areas?

    I have a lot of wolf books but can’t seem to get a clear answer on this.


  4. Michael G Rosaschi

    The reason there is not one case of Brucellosis in cattle because of Bison is because the cattle ranchers spend MILLIONS on vaccine yearly to prevent this terrible disease. It was not long ago that whole heard were slaughtered and burnt to get rid of this.

    In Nevada, when WSA designations were put in force and grazing and management by ranchers was stopped, the once pristine ecosystems are now gone and so are the wildlife and other wild life. The Sage Grouse is in danger because of bad management by the BLM an Forest Service. Also, the West Nile Virus is one of the other main culprits, but you NEVER read of this. Check it out in Montana and Whyoming.

    With out man takining care of the Ecosystems they will no longer exist. It has and is happeniong in Nevada because of unsound Enviro groups.

  5. I found this exchange very interesting. Everyone seems to have left out the fact that it is hunters, of whom I am one, who end up paying for the wolf restoration.
    We are taxed federally on firearms, ammunition, etc. We are also charged by states for hunting licenses, conservation stamps, special stamps, etc., etc.

    All the more reason to charge all who use public land, whether one is hiking and picking flowers, horse back riding, or hunting/fishing a user fee which would go to help offset the huge amounts of money spent on wolf and grizzly populations in the west. Heck, should be an extra charge in Yellowstone for everyone who goes “wolf /bear” watching. I wouldn’t mind paying $10 extra for every time I use public land, if I knew where it was going. Neither would I mind paying to sit by the side of the road for more than 30 minutes for watching wolves in Yellowstone. Saw about 6 yesterday in Lamar Valley.
    Let’s let everyone contribute towards the management of all wildlife, not just the hunters/fishermen.

  6. All: I have banned “Tom”. He has violated every possible rule of participating on this blog. He is baiting you all (called a troll in blog speak), and is distracting from civil discourse.

  7. Tom,

    What call do you have to call me hateful??? You really should do some research before you go mouthing off about the bruccellosis issue. There has NEVER been a case of bison passing the disease to cattle. This is more of the propogand you are lapping up from ranchers who desire the PUBLIC lands needed by OUR bison for THEIR cattle.

  8. Tom,
    And all the roads, campsites, and public land you carry out those pursuits that are on federal land are paid for by federal tax money or by every citizen in the United States.
    Or do you just want all of the benefits of that situation and deny all the people that are paying for it any say?

  9. You have the right to oppose anything that is done with your tax dollars no matter where you live or where they are being spent. By your logic, none of us have a right to have an opinion on the war in iraq because none of us live there. This discussion is going nowhere…

  10. Tom,
    just a suggestion, do some research. Look into things like how much of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming is federal land. And none of the three states are capable of managing that land by themselves, there is just too much of it. And because it is federal land every citizen of America has an equal say and right to be heard. No matter where they live. Like it or not that the facts.

  11. Tom, Idaho, USA

    If I want the federal government to take my tax dollars and put a nuclear waste dump in the adirondaks, should I have a right to get a bunch of people together and for you to accept it?
    Fight to get wolves reintroduced in the northeast. Let the people of Idaho deal with Ron Gillette and other such wackos.

  12. What makes your opinion so much more valuable than mine? Wildlife issues and public lands issues affect every American. People in my state lose animals to coyotes all the time. Does that mean I shouldn’t have an opinion on wolves? I work in cancer research, does that mean you shouldn’t have an opinion on that when your federal tax dollars fund research?

  13. and why is that Tom?

  14. Tom, Idaho, USA

    You’re absolutely right. You shouldn’t have an opinion.

  15. Steve,

  16. I live in the northeast, but I travel to the west often. I am also greatly interested in the outcome of the western wolf reintroduction with one pending in the east. I always get the vibe that I somehow should not have an opinion on any of these matters if I do not live in the affected states. I pay federal income tax that subsidizes public lands ranching, pays for predator control programs from coast to coast, and is paying for the reintroduction.

  17. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I read a short article on Ron Gillette. I’m not sure who this guy is, but I can’t see him staying out of jail for too long. He sounds like someone who could be called a wacko.

  18. Tom,
    Just curious. What does where a person live have anything to do with anything.

  19. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I didn’t call wolf advocates terrorists or wackos. The statement I made was” I consider eco terrorists to be envronmentalist wackos, do you find yourself in that category?”. Anything beyond that is imagined by you.
    As for being hateful, you don’t seem to want a noconfrontational discourse.
    Where do you live anyway? Why is my state posted and nobody else’s?

  20. You should read up on the bison situation i think, and on brucellosis in general. If you did you would learn that elk can transmit it to cattle just as easily, making the torture of bison all the more idiotic. You would also learn that transmission of the disease from bison to cattle is not a sure thing. Once again, why are you saying that wolf advocates are terrorists. And calling me hateful over and over does not make it true. Also, comparing me or anyone else to someone who resorts to violence like Gillette does not make you look very good at all…

  21. Tom, Idaho, USA

    The yellowstone bison have a disease that could seriously affect our beef supply. If you want to donate your hard earned money to a cause, finding a cure would be a good cause. Wouldn’t it be great to see buffalo herds back up to where they can be hunted again? One buffalo could feed a family for years.
    As I mentioned earlier, once they reach trophy staus, wolves will virously procted by hunters and game management people. You never did say which of the states around yellowstone you live in.

  22. Tom, Idaho, USA

    If you can’t remember the eco terrorists of the seventies, you’re either too young or have a selective memory. As to losing land to environmentalists, I already told you about Natale. No internet links, personal memory.( Not selective as you’re about to suggest).
    I live in cache valley Idaho. Believe me, I know about greedy well established ranchers and bussiess owners owning the local politicians and running the entire valley, but this is where my wife spent 30 years of her life, and this is where I need to be at this time.
    I’ve been here for 7 years and will spend the rest of my life here, so I do have an intrest in this area. Where do you live and what is your intrest in this area?
    I don’t know who Ron Gillete is, but if he’s as hateful as you,nothing will get done except both sides spuing vitriolic speeches while the cause is forgotten and all that’s left is hate and an all out war over who’s right about whatever it was all about and who has the right to claim victory. If Ron Gillete has started doing this, ignore him and deal with the people who matter.
    Above all, remember there are two sides to every coin. Imagine yourself on the other side. Don’t assume that only you have a valid intrest and the other side doesn’t matter. How can you complain about Gillette doing this if you’re doing the same thing?.
    Chuchill said “Our faults annoy us the most when we see them in others” Very wise man.

  23. Seeing what is happening to the yellowstone bison and what could potentially happen to wolf populations definitely makes me extremely angry, but lets not turn this into a “hatred” issue. When did I ever say anything as extreme as sinking vessels? Corrupt industries, livestock, mining or otherwise are destroying our wildlife and lands from coast to coast largely at a huge cost to the taxpayers. People like you are will not realize that until it is too late I guess…

  24. Tom.

    How does Greenpeace terrorizing whaling vessels (and please provide information on them sinking any whaling vessels) have anything to do with Steve or anyone having such a hatred for neighbors in their soul? The only hatred that has been displayed is hatred by ranchers and anti-wolfers who imagine that conservationists wish to extract a measure of control over western lands and wildlife, out of their exploitive, and abusive hands. Look at the anti-wolfers leader Ron Gillette.

    Now, show me where any conservationist/enviromentalist wacko has attacked an anit-wolfer. Why can’t you answer Steve’s question or mine. Again, Please explain to me how and when ANYONE has tried to take a rancher’s land away from him for the sake of wolves or any wildlife. I believe that you are taking the word of those who are trying to get the public stirred up with MISINFORMATION because the truth will reveal that it is THEY who in fact, are in err and they do not wish to be painted for the greedy, self serving eco-destructive entities that they are. Remember, it is YOUR ecosystems that they are destroying as well. Yet they want you to believe that they are the victims. When is the last time that the Simplotts or the Packards did anything for you? Yet they want you to cry and whine that environmentalist wackos (who are in fact looking out for your interests) are somehow infringing upon your rights. They are simply looking out for their own business interests but can’t get their hands dirty because that might effect their public image. So they get the uninformed consumer to fight their dirty batles for them. Don’t fall into that trap. You and millions like you, are the only ones that will loose in the end. You will have lost your clean air and water and wildlife and the smalltime rancher will loose his land to the large corporate outfits whom they went to bat for.

  25. Tom, Idaho, USA

    Think back to Greenpeace sinking whaling vessels
    terrorizing the crews and other such acts of terrorism. There’s a difference between this and asking for or even demanding concessions.
    What part of Idaho do you live in that has instilled such a hatred for your neighbors so deep in your soul?

  26. When you think about it the concessions have to be made to environmentalists at the behest of ranchers because they control all of the land, all of the political power etc. Imagine if all lands were protected and “environmentalist wackos” were in a position to make concessions to ranchers to allow them to graze. I don’t think you would be calling ranchers “terrorists” if they wanted a fair deal in that scenario…

  27. The would not and could, take your land away. Give me one example where this has happened. As a matter of fact, when it was discovered that a female wolf had pups on a ranchers private land, that rancher was paid handsomely to allow that female to remain in the den. That case is detailed in the book “Decade of the Wolf” by Doug Smith.

  28. Tom, Idaho, USA

    If an endangered species started using my back yard for it’s nesting ground and an environmentalist group found out about it, what would happen?

  29. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I use the term “envronmentalist wacko” to define eco terrorists and people who refuse to quit no matter how many concession are made to them. Do you find yourself in that category?

  30. Abused by wolves?

  31. Steve,
    read the New West comment section on wild bills article where Marion claims she is being abused.

  32. Jeff, I am going to throw something out there… maybe “Marion” is Ron Gillette’s internet pseudonym…

  33. Tom,

    Please explain to me how anyone is trying to run anyone else off their land. As mentioned us “Environmentalist wackos” are trying to protect PUBLIC lands. The only one that I am aware of that got run off their land are the Native Americans, who got run off the very land that ranchers (well Marion) are now claiming someone is trying to run them off of.

  34. Tom, Idaho, USA

    Please don’t accuse me of saying “ENVIROS”. I detest such terms. I might at times say “envronmentalist wackos” but never “enviros”. I don’t know why, certain words just bother me. Maybe I’m just not politically correct.

  35. Tom, Idaho, USA

    Using your own money to support your cause instead of taking mine is admirable,but running someone off thier land and claiming they can be compensated for the loss of thier home, w’ere talking about more than a house and some dirt, so I can see Marion’s point of view. I would love the chance to see a wolf now and then,so Ican ssee your point of view, but they need to be controlled and the best way to do that is to turn it over to the fish and game. Once they achieve trophy status, hunters will protect them like thier own children. How many game species would even exist today if not for the conservation efforts of hunters?

  36. Sorry about the typos and skipped words, I should proof read before I submit.

  37. Tom,

    “What is wrong with maintaining a good healthy population there? (Yellowstone) Nothing is wrong with maintaining a good and healthy population there. It is a proven fact that the Yellowstone ecosystem has been possitively impacted by the present of wolves as the story at the top of this thread points out. They are and an important part of any healthy ecosystem. There are MANY other areas of publics that would benefit from the presence of the wolf. If wolves are removed in the 3/4 of the state of Wyoming, (which is exactly wht that state management plan calls for) this will not allow for them to disperse into other areas where their presence is badly needed as well. For instance the states of Utah and Colorado could greatly benefit from the presence of the wolf. These state plans are reluctant to reintroduce becouse they will be bound by the 10J rules which have been problematic. However these states have plans to protect the wolf IF they ever migrate on their own. The chances of them migrating on their own is nill (expecially with the Wyoming plan) There is no question but that the presence of wolves is far more beneficial to the ecosystem than are cattle. So “enviros” as you call them, would like to see their presence increase and the destructive presence of cattle decrease on public lands. No body cares if ranchers allow their cattle to destroy their own private land. The removal of privatele owned cattle from public lands in the west would little or no impact on the price of beef. Less than 3% of the American beef market comes from the entire 3 state reigion. And only about 10% of those cows are grazed on public lands. So that’s about 0.003% rise in the cost of beef. Those public lands ranchers are for the most part large corporate ranching outfits that don’t need the subsidies especially at the expense of our ecosystems and wildlife. The small time rancher rarely benefits from public lands grazing.

  38. Marion,
    Seriously you should hook up with Ron Gillett.
    I can see it now: the dementia queen from Wyoming who thinks she is a voice in the wilderness(actually closer to a voice from the outhouse) and the psychotic con man from Idaho. Shakespeare could not have come up with better comedy.

  39. Tom, we do reach into our pockets and donate to programs that reimburse for livestock loss. We also pay taxes (lots of taxes) that go towards subsidizing public lands for ranchers to run their cattle for next to nothing as well as to pay 100 million plus for programs to kill wildlife at the behest of ranchers. If forking my hard earned money over for my taxes to subsidize public lands AND forking over more of my money to donate to wildlife groups to reimburse for losses is stealing someone’s private property then call me a thief…

    Marion, you are a paranoid buffoon.

  40. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I think one of the great thrills of my life was probably going out in the morning mist and watching a pride of lions feed on a freshly killed wildebeast. I’ve never seen a wolf or cougar in the wild, but I’ve heard them off in the distance. My experience with the lions was in Tsavo national park. When I want to see wolves, grizzlies and buffalo, I’ll drive the three hundred miles to Yellowstone. What’s wrong with maintaining a good healthy population there?
    The ESA would be a wonderful thing for future generations were it not for the extremism involved in all environmentalist movements. Learn to recognize when you’ve gotten what you want, say thank you, and move on.
    Now that the wolves are doing well, let them take care of themselves and go attack the ATVers.This is a worthy cause and will help protect wolf habitats.

  41. Federal control under the ESA is assured if management under the state plans cannot sustain adequate populations. That is why we have the ESA. which by the way, we have, because Washington won the war and gave us the right to enact.

    Yes, much damage is sustained to public lands by ATVers. And who owns those ATV’s. Usually NOT “enviros”.

  42. Tom, Idaho, USA

    You wouldn’t believe the destruction I’ve seen from four wheelers. I’ve had these fools drive right though my camp fire and keep going. So much land has been destroyed that what was never posted before now is.
    As for wildlife management,
    for a few years there has been a war between the state fish and game and the local ranchers . The ranchers seem to have won that one.However, I know the Idaho fish and game is planning on issuing ONE wolf tag when wolves get declassified. I wouldn’t eat a wolf, so I have no need to shoot one unless it becomes a threat, but there are people who seem to have need to collect trophies and one per hunter if they can find it doesn’t seem unreasonable.
    We live about three hundred miles from yellowstone and wolf packs are being spotted around here, so they may not be as rare as you’re been led to believe.
    Federal control could have been assured had Washington lost the revolution. Unfortunately he won and we’re stuck with managing our own freedom the best that we can.

  43. I have no problem with people making a living. I have to make one. I do however, have a problem with people making a living at a cost of our ecosystems which provide clean water and wildlife habitat.

    You said: “Ranchers are just as much a part of the public as the rest of us.” But do the rest of us have the right to destroy public lands? People are charged as much as $15 per night just to camp on public lands and are required to stay 200 ft away from water sources. Ranchers are allowed to run hundreds of cattle on the same lands to crap IN our water sources not to mention destroy habitat, for $1.35 per month.

    I have no problem with wildlife populations needing to be controled. The problem is that state management plans are dictated by state depts. of Ag and Depts. of Livestock who have only livestock owners interest at heart. Therefore the federal government is best suited to provide management, unless state plans show that they can keep the best interest of the wildlife at heart. In the cases of Wyoming and Idaho, they definately have not.

  44. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I agree to an extent. My wife and I do all of our camping and hunting in the national forests. We’ve shared our camp with cows, raked cow pies out of our camp,seen split rail fences knocked down and springs ruined by cattle. They’re not there during hunting season, but they do make a mess of the forest.
    On the other hand, ranchers are just as much a part of the “public” in public lands as the rest of us. I prefer to eat poultry, pork and venison, but for those who don’t hunt and don’t have a place to raise their own food, subsidies of any kind help keep prices down and we’re not giving a welfare check, we’re just charging a very low price to graze for a few months of the year.
    Don’t be too quick to judge people for trying to make a living.
    Your gripe seems to be more with ranchers than with a controlled harvest of the wolf population.
    As appauling as it may sound to environmentalists, wildlife populations need to be controlled, and state game commisions are equipped to handle the job if we let them do what we’re paying them for and keep the federal government all the way back in Washington out of state affairs.

  45. Tom,

    That is the big issue here. Ranchers seem to think that they have an exclusive right to use public property as their own private land. They also think they have the right to remove any threat that occurs naturally on tha public land to their private stock. They also think that they have the right to allow thier private stock to destroy the ecosystems on these public lands. There is NOTHING more destructive to the delicate western ecosystems than the effects of grazing the invasive cattle. Ranching, especially western ranching one of the most highly subsidized industries in the country. And public lands grazing for the paultry fees paid amounts to additional subsidizing. So why should the public be subjected to the destruction of it’s land, it’s clean water sources and it’s wildlife so that a very few public lands ranchers can profit? Is anyone giving you or anyone else a free ride?

  46. Tom, Idaho, USA

    This case happened over ten years ago, or maybe longer, in East Vincent township, either Chester or Montgomery county Pa. I didn’t find it on the internet, I remember it from seeing it all over the news in the Philadelphia area. I can’t remember his first name, I never met him. I knew his uncles and other family members from when I was a small boy.
    As for predation on public land, if you pay a few dollars, take your cow and leave her in the woods all summer, come come back and find her dead, that’s the chance you take to get cheap grazing. No one should expect to get reimbursed for that.
    It should be noted that I’m not a rancher. My wife and I have two acres on which we raise enough food to feed ourselves.

  47. Sorry I ht the submit button too quickly.

    I don’t think that there is any argument that if a wolf comes onto YOUR PRIVATE property and kills livestock, that you have the right to shoot it. However the Wyoming and probably the Idaho state wolf management plans are unacceptable in that they allow wolves (which are at unnacceptable population levels to allow for diversity of breeding and dispersion ) to be killed anywhere, anytime by any means. The catagorization of predator is unnacceptable for an endangered species and these plans which WILL result in the destruction of PUBLIC wildlife will be challenged in Court. Just as the private homeowner will challenge the right of an individual to destroy his property.

    You are exactly correct about; if my private stuff causes damages on your property, I could and should be sued. By the same token, If the rancher’s PRIVATE stock are on land that belongs to the PUBLIC and that stock causes damage, including the loss of wildlife and habitat. the rancher should be sued. And if state management plans allow private individuals to kill public wildlife on public lands in violation of ESA mandates, they can and will be sued.

    Can you post a link to information to the Natale case you reference? I am sure he was aptly compensated for the “loss of his home”.

  48. Reimbursement comes from private donations.

  49. Tom, Idaho, USA

    If you drive your car into my house, I have a right to sue you, or your insurance company. If a wolf comes onto my property and kills my stock, I should have a right to shoot the wolf. If I get reimbursed, it shouldn’t be out of tax dollars to which I’ve had to contribute, It should be out of your pocket for forcing me to allow this animal to destroy my property and forbiding me to protect myself from it. If you wish to force your will on others, you should be willing to accept responsility for the outcome of your decision.

  50. Tom, Idaho, USA

    When I lived in Pennsylvania, a man named Natale lost his home on his multigeneration family farm to an environmentalist group that claimed it was a habitat for an endangered field mouse or some such thing. The judge who decided the case stated “He should have known better than to build a house there”.

  51. Tom Idaho,

    I do believe that ranchers should be reimbursed for predation by publicly onwed wildlife that occurs on private land. However, if predation occurs upon privately owned livestock which are on pulbic lands. NO! Are you going to pay me if my privately owned vehicle intentionally careens of public roads onto your private land, and ends up smashed to pieces because Your house fell on it? NO! The situation is the same. I should have kept my private vehicle off of your land, even if that vehicle is a source of income for me.

    Could you explain how anyone is “forcing a man to riemburse himself with his tax dollars?” NO ONE is trying to steal your property or even asking to use it. The rancher, on the other hand ASSUMES he has the RIGHT to invade PUBLIC LAND with his PRIVATE exotic and destructive species and excercise total control over that land. It is a PRIVILEGE not an uncditional RIGHT for ranchers to graze their PRIVATE stock on PUBLIC lands. Just as if your lease a home from someone, conditions do apply. That lease does does not give you the right to destroy the owners property. The PUBLIC is unwilling to allow destruction of PUBLIC lands and PUBLIC wildlife so that a tiny fraction of the PRIVATE population may profit.

    Please enlighten us as to how anyone is trying to “steal your property”

  52. The enviros do not want the property and the responsibility for it, they want the owner to continue to pay taxes and maintain it, they just want it maintained and used to their specifications. The owner’s planned use when he bought it means nothing if enviros feel they have a better use.
    Enviros have plans, desires, and demands, they do not have any responsibility or investment in any of it.

  53. Tom, Idaho, USA

    I must agree with Marion. If you want to force us to endure predation from these animals, don’t you think you should be willing to reach inot your own pocket and reimburse ranchers for thier losses?
    Forcing your will on a man and then dipping into his pockets and forcing him to reimbuse himself with his tax dollars sounds suspiciously like “enviros sneeking up on you to steal your property”.

  54. Be careful, I bet there are some enviros sneaking up on you to steal your property.

  55. Nope, I’m perfectly calm, and I’d bet that if any wolf is killed within the next month, it will be for killing livestock.
    What in the world will you write about next week when no wolves have been hunted?

  56. Marion, you are hysterical. Slither back to the billings gazette to spread your hatred.

  57. This is such nonsense, none of you have a clue to what you are talking about. Barbprotectswhatever seems unable to distinguish between a scene from a fictional movie set over a hundred years ago and reality of the 21st century.
    If locals had wanted to kill the wolves indescriminately, we already would have. The numbers would be similar to the numbers in Arizona and New Mexico. But if you admit that we have kept our word, you’d have to think up new excuses for breaking yours, jsut admit you are dishonest and want to figure a way to take over some one else’s property.

  58. i think we should manage the wolves like we did with the coyotes, bears, mountains lions, etc.

  59. barbprotectswildlife

    If wolves can be managed, then why not cattle on public lands too?

  60. barbprotectswildlife

    Has anyone seen “Dances with Wolves?” Those idiots from the army were having such fun just shooting at that lone wolf. That’s really how some people think. It’s a “game.” A very sick and sad game.

    Even if the wolf (and other predators) were not necessary for a balanced ecosystem, that isn’t reason to “get rid of them.” They are intrinsically valuable in their own right and for our pleasure in occasionally either spotting one or seeing photos.

  61. Frank,
    First off have have you ever hunted wolves? Have you ever hunted coyotes? I hunt coyotes and they are very difficult to hunt, wolves are less populated and more wary, and dont you think after that first couple of shots ring out, I am sure they will figure it out quickly. Everyone on here praises how smart and adaptive they are, I have no doubt they will do just fine. I can promise you that the success rates will be very low, wolves are mostly nocturnal and live in remote places. I can promise you that success rates will be very low.

  62. Elkhunter, wolves have been “managed” ever since they were re-introduced. Hundreds are “managed” (killed) every year. Entire packs are wiped out for killing (managing!) a few cows. Some believe that hunting wolves will lead to more predation on livestock (slow elk) because hunters will seek out larger, more impressive wolves (the alphas….also the ones who will hang back and make sure the rest of the pack gets away) leaving young, inexperienced wolves to fend for themselves. Shouldn’t “management” efforts target problem animals, as they do now, and leave non problem packs alone to help insure that they stay that way?

  63. Kevin, I agree with you, I dont think that wolves should of been removed, I dont mind them being back, I just want them to be managed like any other animal. Elk bear deer or wolf. I know they are important, just want them managed thats all.

  64. It’s been a while since I’ve been on this blog, but it’s good to see that time hasn’t tempered the passion of the discussions that take place here.

    For the record, I am a supporter of the Wolf.

    Elkhunter, we have agreed (in a sense) in the past, not sure if you recall or not. I know the study was done on fish, but it does show what cause/affect can take place when one elemenet of an ecosystem is removed.

    However if read thoroughly it also states that the reintroduction of that ‘missing element’ can have further damaging or negative affects on the system, due to the rest of the system adapting while that ‘element’ was missing from it. IE: The Wolf in GYE.

    Again, I am a supporter and firmly believe ‘we’ were wrong in removing the Wolf in the first place. So not only should we have reintroduced them, but we should work through the differences that their, now presence, brings to not only the ecosystem, but to the people that have gotten used to them being the ‘missing element’, if you will.

    Steve, excellent point and one I’m not sure many people are aware of. I know the example you used I was not aware of until just this past spring.

  65. Like it or not, without coevolution prey species as we know them today would not exist. Whether it be wolves, lions etc. prey have evolved to be faster or stronger as predators have had to evolve to catch up. Who knows what will happen to prey over the next few thousand years now that predators are being taken out of the mix (perhaps they will turn into cows).

    Why do you think pronghorn are so much faster than any living predators? Because we used to have a cheetah species in north america about 10,000 years ago…

  66. That study did not mention wolves almost at all. It mentioned them in passing, but none of the science they conducted had anything to do with wolves. It worked with the killfish, but after doing that study I dont see how a biologist can turn around and say okay that pertains to wolves/bears also. All it proved to me was that killfish in different environments do different things. Of course pro-wolf individuals would never skew anything to their point of view, and science is only science if it backs up your opinion.