Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Are wolf populations in Yellowstone leveling out?

A new report shows a declining population of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, but a lead author describes it as a result of the predators coming into balance with their environment.
“The number of wolves are here that can be supported by prey,” said Doug Smith, Yellowstone Senior Wildlife Biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project.
The most recent annual report provides insight into the park’s wolf population as of the end of 2012. Wolf numbers then stood at at least 83 wolves in 10 packs. It’s a 15 percent drop from the previous three years and a 50 percent population drop from 2007, after which wolves failed to bounce back from a disease outbreak. Wolves were originally reintroduced to the park in 1995.