Chapter 11 Summary.doc

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12 Apr 2012

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Chapter 11 Summary 1
January 12, 1995, Yellowstone National Park
- Wolves are reintroduced to Yellowstone Park
-8 of them were brought in a horse trailer
-Referred to as “a day of redemption and a day of hope” by environmentalists
-For a few hours, the mood was dampened due to an agricultural group creating an emergency appeal
-The judge quickly lifted the appeal to limit the amount of time the wolves spent caged
A History of Wolves
-Wolves are very adaptable. They inhabit desert, grassland, forest, and tundra
-Most live and hunt in packs
-Canada houses the largest wolf population (52 000 - 60 000)
The Social Success of Wolves
-Packs contain 5-8 wolves
-Litters are 6-8 and raised by the whole pack
-Packs survive and reach success through keeping a strict system of hierarchies
-Wolves have very high reproductive rates, esp. in vacant territory
The Ecological Role of the Wolf
trophic levels- an organism’s position in a food chain, determined by the number of
energy-transfer steps to that level
-Wolves exist in the level of top carnivores (apex predators)
-Biodiversity, species distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic and biotic factors
-Any change in the top or bottom of the trophic levels can create a huge shift throughout the sys-
-Removal of wolves causes huge pop. swells of their prey species
-Their reintroduction to Yellowstone allowed for a rapid return of willow plants (less herbivores)
-Beavers use willow for dam construction, therefore their pop. also increased
Three Centuries of Slaughter: Wolf Eradication in the United States
-By 1950 they were eradicated from almost all of the States, at this time, they brought this cam-
paign to mexico. Within 8 years, their wolf pop. was eliminated
-Following soon after this eradication was the idea of conservation
-Perception of wolves changed from things that threaten the stability of nature to a larger part of
the ecological processes
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