Natural Science 1307
Back from near extinction, the gray wolf is threatened again, and this time itís by a federal court. A few mouths ago a federal judge ruled that while the fish and wildlife services goals at reintroduction might be noble itís methods are illegal.
The problem though is that the wolf plays a very big part in the ecosystem in Yellowstone. But on the other hand research records lead us to believe that since 1995 seven head of cattle and 84 sheep have been killed this way. The defenders of wildlife set up a found to compensate owners for their losses and to date the group has paid out more than 21,000, but money apparently isnít the only issue. Some farmers also say their stress in knowing that the wolves are in the area. They way the federal judge has been able to get passed the fact that in almost all circumstances endangered wolves are protected is that the Yellowstone wolfs are considered an "experimental" population. Itís an important distinction wolves in experimental populations enjoy protection only as long as they donít present a threat to livestock. If does though seem a shame to start killing off an endangered species, just because they kill a few whiled stock. This topic is still not complete; the final decision has not been made as yet.
1998 Jan 19. Fish and Wildlife Services report 6-7.