In studies conducted in Canada on the effects of wolves on ungulates and the ecosystem in general, we find that wolves are destructive (no surprise here) and this study gives a look into a sort of crystal ball as to what the lower 48 states have to look forward to as environmentalist clamor to promote the expanse and growth of the gray wolf in order to “balance” our ecosystems.
The study is very worth reading and here’s a grocery list of some of what is discovered:
1. Wolves destroy 90% of the elk populations.
2. Elk slaughter by wolves increased in proportion to the severity of the winters.
3. 60% of the elk stopped migrating.
4. Wolves destroyed 56% of moose populations and nearly eliminated calf recruitment
5. Wolves decimated woodland caribou, bringing that species to ultimate extirpation.
6. Wolves stole 57% of prey kills by grizzlies
7. Any attempt to manage ungulate numbers anywhere near pre wolf times is a “fantasy”.
8. Increasing quality habitat for elk had no effect on increasing numbers with wolves present.
9. To begin replenishing ungulate populations, wolf numbers need to be reduced every year by at least 70%. The reduction has to be ongoing………forever.
10. Wolf hunts utilized to control wolf populations are ineffective.
Conclusion: If states choose to replenish wolves, there will be no hunting left. Wolves will destroy the ungulate populations and we’ll have more singing birds flitting about the vegetation normally eaten by ungulate species.