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Wolves to the Rescue!
September 30, 2009

People hunted wolves until they disappeared from Yellowstone National Park.  Without wolves hunting there, the number of elk and deer in the park skyrocketed.  Trees, such as the aspen, could not survive there anymore either.  There were just too many elk and deer eating and trampling them!

Recently, something amazing occured.  Researchers wanted to see what would happen if they brought some wolf packs back into Yellowstone.  In just 5 years, the 50 Yellowstone wolves helped to reduce the number of elk and deer so that aspens have started to grow again!  Beavers and birds who had left the park are also returning to the places where they used to live.  The researchers have discovered that wolves play an important role in keeping the ecosystem of Yellowstone in “balance.”   This is good news for the wolf, and other parts of the world are considering bringing the wolf back to help restore the balance of nature. 

Interesting facts about wolves:

  • The wolf is the largest member of the dog family, and can weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kilograms)!

  • Wolves can live in almost any climate.

  • A wolf can go without food for as long as 2 weeks.  But when a wolf finally eats, it can consume as much as 20 pounds (9 kilograms) at a time. 

Are you afraid of wolves?  Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

Source: Holden, Constance.  (2009, 22 July). Wolves to the Rescue in Scotland. ScienceNOW Daily News.

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