Where Can Wolves Live and How Can We Live With Them?
June 30, 2019
In the contiguous 48 United States, southern Canada, and in Europe, wolves (Canis lupus) have greatly increased and expanded their range during the past few decades.They are prolific, disperse long distances, readily recolonize new areas where humans allow them, and are difficult to control when populations become established.Because wolves originally lived nearly everywhere throughout North America and Eurasia, and food in the form of wild and domestic prey is abundant there, many conservation-minded people favor wolves inhabiting even more areas.On the other hand, wolves conflict in several ways with rural residents who prefer fewer wolves. This article discusses the recovery of wolves, their benefits and values, the ways in which they conflict with humans, and the potential for their expansion into new areas.It concludes that wolf conservation will best be accomplished by each responsible political entity adaptively prescribing different management strategies for different zones within its purview.Some zones for some periods can support total protection, whereas in others, wolf numbers will have to be reduced to various degrees or removed.
Author(s): L. David Mech