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Within their ecosystem, the wolves play a valuable role in keeping numbers of prey like deer in check. In turn the smaller prey populations are less likely to balloon out of control and consume all available nutrients in their habitat. … Human interactions also pose a risk to the red wolf.
Restoring red wolves also enhances the Earth’s biodiversity. There are cultural and economic implications in restoring red wolves, as well, whether it is revering the wolf for its skills or what it represents in nature to the economic benefits of ecotourism or reducing crop damage caused by prey species.
Wolves play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. They help keep deer and elk populations in check, which can benefit many other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, like grizzly bears and scavengers.
Biologists support the idea of wolf relocation because they consume ungulates like deer and elk. This activity reduces their numbers more effectively than what human hunters can provide. An even better benefit is the creation of a culture of fear within the local ecosystem.
Proctor says returning wolves to Colorado will help restore a predator-prey balance that the ecosystems of the southern Rocky Mountains have not known in a century. By changing elk behavior, wolves can reduce overgrazing on river banks, which in turn can make areas more suitable for songbirds and beavers.
Since 1995, when wolves were reintroduced to the American West, research has shown that in many places they have helped revitalize and restore ecosystems. They improve habitat and increase populations of countless species from birds of prey to pronghorn, and even trout.
If wolves went extinct, the food chain would crumble. The elk and deer population would increase (see chart on next slide) and eat the cow and other livestock’s food. Then we, the Humans, would have a food shortage in beef and dairy and possibly shortages in other food products too.
Packs are led by a male and female breeding pair. If one or both of those wolves is killed, the pack can break up, giving rise to several breeding pairs—and thus an uptick in the wolf population. Livestock losses decline only when enough wolves are killed to overwhelm their ability to keep up through reproduction.
If the red wolf were to go extinct, it would upset the balance in the ecosystems in which it thrives (namely the southeastern US). This means that the animals it hunts would proliferate and over-consume the natural resources in a given area.
The red wolf is the world’s most endangered wolf. Once common throughout the Eastern and South Central United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the early 20th century as a result of intensive predator control programs and the degradation and alteration of the species’ habitat.
Red wolves protect themselves in different ways. First of all, they travel in packs rather than individually. As carnivores, they have sharp teeth which they use to catch their prey. Red wolves are also able to run 36 to 38 miles per hour.
Least Concern (Population stable)
20 red wolves
What is the future of the red wolves? As of 2020, there are about 20 red wolves left in the wild, half of the population size from just two years prior. Another 175 red wolves remain in captivity.
Some of these sympatric ani- mals are fellow canids such as foxes, coyotes, and jackals. Others are large carnivores such as bears and cougars. In addition, ravens, eagles, wolverines, and a host of other birds and mammals interact with wolves, if only by feed- ing on the remains of their kills.
The reintroduction of the wolf nearly 25 years ago to the country’s first national park has brought change: Overpopulated elk herds have thinned, allowing some willow and aspen groves to return and thereby creating better habitat for songbirds and beavers.
Wolves culled overpopulating herds of elk and deer, which restored grasses, preventing soil erosion, keeping streams cleaner, aiding fish populations and more in a complicated series described as a “trophic cascade.” In other words, the introduction of an apex predator, the wolf, created a domino effect of ecological …