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Wolf Info

Old 03-10-2010, 11:37 AM
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Default Wolf Info

This might help explain a little on why and how the wolf introduction has happened here in the lower 48. I’m sure you can find other great information on the USFWS website. Here are a few paragraphs from a great book on wolves.

Quote from book:

Mech, D.L. and Boitani, Luigi. 2003. Wolves. Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.
(Pages 222-224)

“The biological species concept (BSC) maintains that the unifying characteristic of species is reproductive independence or isolation from other species (Mayr 1963; O’Brien and Mayr 1991). However, reproductive isolation is difficult to assess for populations living in different areas, and hybrid zones may form between populations thought to represent distinct species. These problems with the BSC have been the subject of a long discussion (reviewed by Hull 1997).

Operationally, species are often defined as morphologically and behaviorally distinct entities (e.g., Nowak 1979); however, the level of morphological distinction separating various taxonomic units (species, subspecies, populations) may be somewhat arbitrary and dependent on the measurements taken by the researcher. Moreover, morphologically distinct populations may interbreed (reviewed by Barton and Hewitt 1985, Harrison 1990, and Arnold 1997). Consequently, purportedly more objective definitions have been developed, such as the phylogenetic species concept, which defines species according to “diagnosable” characteristics reflecting a common ancestry (e.g., McKitrick and Zink 1988; Vogler et al. 1993).

Combining elements of the biological and phylogenetic species concepts, Avise and Ball (1990) suggested the subspecies be defined as populations that are generally allopatric (live in different areas) and have a series of concordantly divergent traits, but may interbreed if barriers to dispersal are removed. In contrast, species are defined by a similar suite of concordantly divergent traits, but do not widely interbreed if barriers to dispersal are removed.

Two problems are apparent when applying these definitions to wolflike canids. The first is that wolves disperse over great distances and across topographic barriers to find mates and territories (see Mech and Boitani, chap. 1 in this volume). As a result, rates of gene flow are high, so wolf populations are rarely isolated long enough to produce reciprocal monophyly in their mitochondrial sequences. Even rapidly evolving microsatellite loci may not show much differentiation between populations. Rather than populations being discrete, a limited pattern of genetic differentiation with distance may be apparent (Forbes and Boyd 1996; see below).

For this reason, the division of wolves into discrete subspecies and other genetic units may be somewhat arbitrary and overly typological (conforming to a specific ideal type). In reality, wolves are better viewed as a series of intergrading populations having subtle or undetectable patterns of clinal genetic change (Lehman et at. 1991; Roy, Geffen et al. 1994; Forbes and Boyd 1997). Importantly, populations may differ in attributes important to fitness in spite of being connected by high rates of gene flow (e.g., T.B. Smith et al. 1997). Therefore, units for conservation should be based on fitness-related characters or their surrogates, rather than on largely neutral changes in mitochondrial or microsatellite loci (Candall et at. 2000).

A second problem stemming from high rates of gene flow concerns the importance of hybridization. The width of a hybrid zone reflects dispersal distance and the degree of selection against hybrids (Barton and Hewitt 1985). Therefore, if selection against hybrids is weak and dispersal distances are large, interspecific hybridization can affect the genetic composition of a population over a wide geographic area. As discussed below, independent genetic studies suggest hybridization between coyotes and wolves and their hybrids over a wide area in southeastern Canada. As a consequence of hybridization, physically distinct populations may actually represent hybrids containing various proportions of genes from otherwise distinct species (see Figure 8.2 below on page 224). The presence of such introgressed populations greatly confounds taxonomic and conservation efforts (Jenks and Wayne 1992; Wayne and Brown 2001, 145-62).”

I would highly recommend reading through chapter 9 “Wolf Evolution and Taxonomy”. Figure 9.2 has a great map of original geographic distribution of wolves in North America. Take a look at that map and put the few paragraphs with it from up above and that might help explain why and how the re-introduction of wolves has happened here in the lower 48.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:06 PM
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Default national geographic on wolves

I don't know if the US issue of the new National Geographic magazine is the same as the european one but the march issue has a whole article about the reintroduction of wolves in yellowstone and the surrounding areas.
some positive facts;
less coyotes
more beavers
more trees
more insects
more fish
less deer and elk but constant numbers
idem for the wolves
1% loss of calves of livestock by wolf predation
higher tourist numbers

There are a few negative facts but the magazine concludes that this is because we are both highly adaptable creatures who try to live together and make the best of it.
I suggest you do....
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by m9a9g9i9c View Post
I don't know if the US issue of the new National Geographic magazine is the same as the european one but the march issue has a whole article about the reintroduction of wolves in yellowstone and the surrounding areas.
some positive facts;
less coyotes
more beavers
more trees
more insects
more fish
less deer and elk but constant numbers
idem for the wolves
1% loss of calves of livestock by wolf predation
higher tourist numbers

There are a few negative facts but the magazine concludes that this is because we are both highly adaptable creatures who try to live together and make the best of it.
I suggest you do....
Are you suggusting that the wolf introduction to certain areas is something that is positive?? This is the BIGGEST mistake that our DNR/Biologists have made in many years.. The Wolf is no better then a mangy coyote.. They are simple killers and anything and everything that gets into their way gets killed.. I know an outfitter in Canada that says that the wolves that he has on his properties kill more for the sport then for food, for every 5 deer they kill they eat one for food.. I have seen and experienced the devastration these preditors can do, they have single handedly cleaned house of the deer population in the U.P. of Michigan.. Now if these idoits want to introduce these pests then they should allow some sort of regulated control of them.. But in most places you can't touch them without serious trouble and they just keep growing and growing in population.. As far as I look at it, if your a wolf lover you're no better then a tree hugger!!
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:21 AM
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Firm Believer that everything is here for a reason. You don't have to like but you do have to accept it and move on. just my two cents
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:53 AM
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that was a very nice way to put it.

take out a top predator in the foodchain and we are left with too much other species that need controlling.
just two things;
If there's enough deer to entertain the wolves there sure as hell are enough to hunt. Wolves just are the better hunter IMHO.
And I just find it funny that you blame wolves for killing or hunting for fun ? What are you then ? a treehugger ???

I do think with every introduction or reintroduction of an indemic species we need control.

F.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by diamondrack View Post
This is the BIGGEST mistake that our DNR/Biologists have made in many years..
The DNR/Biologist had nothing to do with this. That would be the USFWS and the ESA. If you have a problem with it; then file a lawsuit. No one is stopping you. You may want to read up a little more on the wolf issue and how the ESA works. Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:27 PM
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My only complaint is that they "RE-INTRODUCED these predetors to our U.P. for no reason what so ever.. Deer hunting use to be a multi-million dollar business in the U.P. and now it is junk and yes the #1 problem is the wolves.. M9a9g9i9c, you live in belgium and have no idea what the hell you are talking about, first of all-- like I have stated these wolves were GONE from Michigan and now have been introduced (so that element of the food chain was not even established and means nothing), Second--have you personally ever hunted the UP of Michigan lets say 10 years ago?? Because it was amazing and now it is junk.. Don't go on what you think you know until you can honestly say you have seen it or experienced it with your own eyes..
Blacktail Slayer, I do not care to file no lawsuit nor do I care to read up on what some "liberal organization" says is what is going on.. I hear about it from family, friends, DNR officers, and of coarse I have also experienced it.. Most of these people that I speak of have delt with this issue of the "wolves" in great detail and I believe what they have to say.. I do not need to research it because I already know, it is a very hot topic for our U.P.ers.. I'm thankful that I live in the L.P. and don't have to deal with that type of problem, YET that is.. My family owns two seperate sections of property in the U.P. that we at one time use to deer hunt a lot, now we just visit once in a great while and do some bear hunting when we draw tags.. The property value is junk and no one wants to buy any of it because to be honest up there all there is to do is hunt and if their is no deer there is no point. It is truly sad what they have done with the introduction of wolves and yes I 100% would care less if they were gone and or in a zoo.. This is my opinion of course..
Now, if they were to introduce the wolve and regulate them with some sort of management tactic in order to secure the whole ecosystem allowing it be balanced then I may be able to be fine with it.. But they won't because the "tree huggers" think its a sin to kill a wolf..
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:45 PM
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Diamond,

I hear you and you are right that I am talking about something that's far away from my doorstep.
I only read what the national geographic society writes in their journals
And there will always be opposites to these big predators and this always needs careful planning and managment when introducing a species to an environment.
But I live in europe and we just did what you mentioned, we killed, poisoned and trapped every wolf and now they are gone.
And it's a goddamn shame IMHO if you ask me....
Like I said this needs careful managment and control, but the wolf will always be man's or hunter's competitor. The only difference is the wolf does it for survival and we do it for sport.

Frank
Belgium
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by m9a9g9i9c View Post
Diamond,

I hear you and you are right that I am talking about something that's far away from my doorstep.
I only read what the national geographic society writes in their journals
And there will always be opposites to these big predators and this always needs careful planning and managment when introducing a species to an environment.
But I live in europe and we just did what you mentioned, we killed, poisoned and trapped every wolf and now they are gone.
And it's a goddamn shame IMHO if you ask me....
Like I said this needs careful managment and control, but the wolf will always be man's or hunter's competitor. The only difference is the wolf does it for survival and we do it for sport.

Frank
Belgium
Although I do not care for the wolf at all I could live with our society setting good/effective management controls that will not only allows the wolf to live among us but also will not allow the sacrafice of our other wildlife like the deer and elk.. I do believe that there can be a equal balance that should be implamented.. This could be done by trapping, hunting, etc.. to get the number of wolves down to not only a managable number but also at or below a damaging threshold.. The problem is, here in the states there are to many people that think the wolf is something that is superior to all other living things..
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:32 AM
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we make the biggest mistake when we think that man is superior to all other creatures.
In fact we are the biggest reason we have and need wildlife managment

F.
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