Reintroduction of the Gray Wolf: Pros and Cons

Who's Afraid for the Big Gray Wolf?

Alpha Grey Wolf
Alpha Grey Wolf | Source

The First Time the Gray Wolf Became an Endangered Species

For eons, the native species of North America evolved into an entirely self sustaining balance of predator, prey and supporting habitat. This ecosystem thrived for countless ages without any "intervention" on the part of humans.

In 1872, the first national park, Yellowstone National Park, was established to preserve the natural wilderness and wildlife in this spectacular part of America. However, as early as 1884, an official eradication of large predatory species was put into effect by the State of Montana. It was decided wolves and other predators, including Mountain Lions, Bears and Coyotes, were killing too many of the game animals such as Elk, Buffalo and Pronghorn. The state offered $1 per wolf killed.

In 1914, the U.S. Biological Survey was founded, a federally funded program with its main goal being to eradicate the wolves in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas. The U.S. Biological Survey is still around today but has been renamed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned, using strychnine on carcasses. In 1926, the last two wolves in Yellowstone National Park were shot while feeding on a buffalo carcass. It is documented the wolves were almost wholly eliminated from all of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho by 1927.

Humans Creating the Need for "Wildlife Management"

By 1935, biologists were already reporting an imbalance in the ecosystem. Overpopulation of grazing animals was causing a significant decline in the new growth of native plants and trees. This, in turn, was causing erosion and a population reduction in birds, beavers and other such species dependant on trees and plants for food and habitat. Federal and State funds were used to regulate the number of Elk, Deer and Bison by shooting or trapping them. At one time, the Paradise Valley (just North of Yellowstone National Park) held one herd of elk with over 35,000 individuals.

In 1966, the idea of wolf reintroduction was first presented to Congress by biologists. These scientists believed that because the ecosystem had developed with natural predators, it was destabilized without them. The result of this imbalance was over-grazing and significant habitat destruction in only 40 years: a drop in the bucket in terms of nature and its evolution.

In 1973, the Federal Endangered Species Act was brought into existence and the Gray Wolf became protected under this new law in 1974.

Eliminate the Grey Wolf

Eliminating the Gray Wolf
Eliminating the Gray Wolf

Pictures of Gray Wolves in Yellowstone

Wolf in Yellowstone
Wolf in Yellowstone | Source
Wolf in Yellowstone
Wolf in Yellowstone | Source
Wolves pictures
Wolves pictures | Source
Wolf in Yellowstone
Wolf in Yellowstone | Source
Wolf in Yellowstone
Wolf in Yellowstone | Source

Wolf Reintroduction in Yellowstone: A Complex Issue

In spite of the controversy, in 1995 the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf in Yellowstone National park was approved and 14 wolves from Canada were brought and released in three park locations. Almost 75 years after the last two wolves in Yellowstone were shot, the Gray Wolf was back. Over the next year, approximately 60 more wolves from Canada were brought and reintroduced in both Yellowstone and central Idaho.

In 2000, U.S. Fish and Wildlife reported that the goal of 30 breeding pairs of wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming had been met. Based on this information, the USFWS claimed the Gray Wolf population was recovered under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Many scientists and environmental groups disagreed saying there were not enough breeding pairs for healthy genetics and the wolves could not be considered fully recovered. The debate continued into the next decade.

In March 2008, the Gray Wolf was de-listed, and hunts were planned. Several environmental groups sued the government, and in July of the same year, the U.S. District Court granted a preliminary injunction placing the wolf back on the protected list. The hunts for the fall of 2008 were suspended.

In March 2009, the Gray Wolf was de-listed a second time. This time hunts commenced in Montana and Idaho killing a total of 258 wolves.

Again, wildlife advocates sued the federal government and again protections were restored to the wolves in August of 2010. The fall hunt for 2010, which had doubled the previous year's quota, was canceled.

So far in 2011, "research" hunts have been used as a way to get around federal protection. Additionally, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer encouraged Montanans to shoot packs of wolves guilty of preying on livestock or "hurting elk herds" regardless of the law. (In parts of Montana, it is legal to shoot wolves to protect livestock.) Federal agents (paid by U.S. tax dollars) have been authorized to shoot over 1000 "problem" wolves in the last few years.


A Different Point of View

Of course, not everyone missed the wolves. Hard working livestock owners, of which there are many in Montana, battled one less obstacle in the absence of these adept predators. Additionally, for huntsmen (and women) the new abundance of game animals was a dream come true. The afore mentioned Paradise Valley became a prodigious elk hunting mecca hosting over 3200 hunters annually.

For decades, Gardiner Montana, a town within the northern boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, held the unique "Late Elk Hunt" for six weeks in January and February just to be able to control the size of the local elk herd. This was and still is a significant source of revenue for the state through hunting licenses as well as increased tourism. The controversy over the pros and cons of wolf reintroduction was in full motion.

Grey Wolf in Yellowstone

Source

The Question Should Not Be Are You For or Against Wolves but How Can Humans and Wolves Better Coexist

This emotionally charged argument has continued for decades. To some, it is as straightforward as "anti" and "pro" wolf. The "anti" supposedly being the ranchers who are trying to protect their livestock and livelihood from an ever increasing threat. Or the hunters who are choosing to take their hunting trips elsewhere. Or the businesses who are losing revenue because fewer hunters means less business. (I happen to fall into this category myself.)

The "pro" wolf groups are mostly wildlife advocates and environmental groups such as Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice who fear that if the wolves are not federally protected they will surely be mismanaged, over-hunted and sadly exterminated again.

There is a third school of thought. Some scientists who started out as advocates for keeping the Gray Wolf in the Endangered Species List have changed their tune over the past decade. The recent opinion seems to be the wolves have recovered to the point that they, like other wildlife, need to be managed by local programs not protected by federal law. If they continue to be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the result will be human/wolf conflicts continuing to escalate until the wolf comes out with the short end of the stick. These scientists admit wolves have a minimal impact on elk populations, based on a 2010 study released by Idaho Fish and Game. According to this and other studies, the elk numbers have not been substantially reduced, rather, the migration patterns of the elk are changing as they attempt to avoid wolf populated areas. Additionally, they dismiss the rumors of "bigger, more aggressive wolves" as exaggeration. Still, they are proponents of de-listing the Gray Wolf. Instead, they suggest protection programs like those currently used to manage the bear populations. (This is another topic for a lengthy discussion.)

Some conservationists, such as The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, propose responsible state-level management involving 1.) an established minimum gray wolf population, monitored by federal agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2.) monetary aid for ranchers who lose livestock and 3.) regulated, fair-chase hunting (i.e., no poisoning or trapping) of wolves in numbers based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife reports. Revenue from hunting licenses could be used to help fund state wolf management programs. If the wolves are de-listed, there will no longer be federal funds available.

What is Happening Now?

This ongoing and decades long battle is exceedingly complex: a mess brought upon ourselves a century ago when we decided to take it upon ourselves to "manage" mother nature. Currently, in the Montana Capitol, a resolution urging the removal of the Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List passed the House with 99 of 100 votes. The next step will be for the U.S. District Court to approve or reject the wolves' protection. There are currently estimated to be 524 wolves in Montana.

Grey Wolf in Yellowstone

Source
Saturday, March 19, 2011 (If you can't read this just click on one of the link below)
Saturday, March 19, 2011 (If you can't read this just click on one of the link below)

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Comments 143 comments

AllysonGray 9 months ago

I guess I'm in the minority - I'm decidedly anti-wolf. I would prefer if they just didn't exist.

Of course, I'm well aware that in their current state, "prey" animals would overpopulate if they had no predators. Since this would be a very difficult reality to change (though perhaps not impossible), I have to accept predators as a sad reality, at least for now. But ideally, they would not be there (or at least not any species that shred their prey apart while it's still alive!)


poodiepie 14 months ago

i love grey wolves


Pauletta 16 months ago

This didn't help me at all, all I wanted is pros and coins.


Love things 2 years ago

I think it's great that the wolves are back


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

I love all your info , yet federal dollars and subsidization of ranchers and sheep hearders has gone on long enough ! Its time for the wolf! Now !.........:-}


Wolf Lover 2 years ago

I'm doing a persuasive essay on the reintroduction of wolves in school. That really helped. (:


moogoo gypan 2 years ago

All reintroduction efforts should be made in suburbs and urban/wilderness interface. This is where there will not be a significant financial impact due to depredation. This will help with wildlife herds that have adapted to a healthy diet of ornamental shrubs, bountiful forbs, and grasses saturated with nutrients. Likewise, when the cyclic predator/prey cycle reaches a critical point, the predators will be able to switch to alternative food sources such as fat ornamental pets (dogs like Labradors get nice and fat, cats, urban chickens, maybe a colt or lama on that ranchette). However, to expect financially stressed government agencies to spend limited resources to introduce a predator they can not control so we can feel better as a species has the following results. The rural human subspecies of this society, which so few of us can relate to or even interact with now, will have their income and financial security effected. How casual our urban/suburban subspecies can say what is one calf, what is a dozen calves, we will compensate you, when they don't offer 1/10th of their income on a gamble that someone may agree to compensate them. There is no concept of the animal husbandry and time that goes into breeding stock and healthy livestock herds. Likewise, there is no concept of what has happened to the winter range. What in the city might be considered vast expanses of winter range actually no longer exists in the lower 48. It is now divided and fragmented into small sub parcels by the species (humans) that no one is making an effort to control their populations. Humans have taken the winter range and cut it up with roads, subdivision mostly along the river corridors, and yes even those trophy ranches and trophy homes that get visited once or twice a year by a CEO from the big city. This is a devastating formula for herds of animals in areas that typically receive a brutal winter at least once every 10 years. You know the type of winter the urban/suburban subspecies celebrate on the slopes or at the bar in the ski lodge. Meanwhile, the elk and deer herds are concentrated in smaller and smaller drainages as the ski crowd hurtles by in their heavy SUVs and fancy cars expecting the Hwys to be free of any wild life struggling to make it through the winter. So now that we have orchestrated this unnatural environment, let’s bring back the "apex" predator. What a solution, concentrated herds struggling through the winter and a predator that we cannot control. So then we have cyclic success? Okay the Cottonwood elk and deer herds are devastated during that brutal winter, nearby sheep and cattle herds are the alternative prey and we pay out a bunch of money to the ranchers who don't want handouts. Hmmm, think I'll go back to dwelling on how nice life is in the big city petting my pet ferret and thinking how green I am this winter sustaining myself through the natural life of truck farming and starbucks. The bottom line is man has always affected the shape of wildlife populations. Society's perception of what the natural world should look like will always be considered what is environmentally healthy and then we can engineer that. The portrayal that "oh my gosh that poor meadow is hammered by elk" is a perception. Just like "the damn beaver have dammed up the creek and flooded my basement" is a perception. Either way, that actual creek bottom will not disappear and it will support various forms of flora and fauna through natural succession depending upon what stressors or not are placed on it. There will always be stressors or stimuli on all systems in the natural world. Meanwhile, we humans might pass through that area once in a while and then sit in our living rooms or the lecture halls of higher learning and pretend like we know what is healthy and what is not for that specific habitat. Maybe it is time to suggest that the healthiest environment is one where humans are hunter/gatherers not concentrated in one spot and attacking each other for territorial dominance and genetic diversity with the occasional famine thrown in for good measure. Hmmmm, need more coffee.


Human Hunter 3 years ago

Hello Quent Tieg,

I like to hunt people like you down, sedate you, slowly skin you alive, put eye drops of battery acid in your eyes, string out your muscles, and pike you to a tree, because you like to hunt because you see what the main problem is. Thank you for reading, I will be seeing you soon.


ASHLEY COOPER 3 years ago

These are extremely good animals they only attack when the get scared


me 3 years ago

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Quent Teig 3 years ago

Hello Mrs. Menagrie.

i found your information useful. I work on my ranch in Montana. But i find wolves quite useless around here. They are a gluttonous species, and i like the fact we were hunting them, (cause we still are) Last year i lost over 35 head of sheep and 14 head of cattle. Thank god we can hunt them here. thanks yal.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks Kerry and I love them too!


KerryAnita profile image

KerryAnita 4 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

This is a great hub! I love wolves. As an apex predator, they are so important to keeping the ecosystems in which they live in in balance. I love you're point that we shouldn't be pro or anti wolf, and that we just need to learn to live in balance with the grey wolf and other such predators!


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

This is a very informative hub, thanks for educating us on this subject.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks Chris, I'm sure you can tell I like them too!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Hello ahorseback and thank you for your very reflective comments! Sadly, it is even worse now than hunting...they are allowing them to be trapped as well. During the last few hunting seasons the quots was not reached so they are approving other means of killing them. Hopefully they won't go too far and let the numbers get dangerously low again.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

Hello , although I commented before and I must again , I have seen the west yellowstone rescue for wolves and grizzlies . I guess it's a zoo no matter how we look at it ! The return of the grey wolf now expanded to almost all the northwest states is a great thing ! I would love to them everywhere . Man has long had an almost mystical hatred for the wolf . Poisened , trapped , shot , torn limb from limb by horses , you name it , man has done it ! And Now the biggest enemy is still the rancher , cows , sheep and federal [ a welfare program for ranchers ] ----taxpayer funded subsidies ! One day perhaps the wildlife will reclaim this earth . Until then though we must be vigilant for them ! I don't claim to be an enviromentalist , I am a hunter too. Yet even sport hunting goes to far in my humble oppinion .And yet , hunting is being opened up again for the grey wolf ! Awesomee hub . Love it !


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you atyq! I should think we could coexist, but some would need to change their point of view for that to happen.


answers-questions profile image

answers-questions 4 years ago

Hi Menagerie,

This is an awesome hub, thanks for sharing. I am for the gray wolf reintroduction, I think that we can Humans and Wolves can better Coexist.

I think that wolves are so fascinating...

Best regards, Atyq


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks Reagu...I'll check it out for sure!!!!


reagu profile image

reagu 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Awesome hub. These wolves are beautiful. I saw a PBS special on PBS called "In the Valley of the Wolves." It detailed the reintroduction of the animals in Yellowstone an how they fared. Its a nugget of a documentary.


wolf hater 4 years ago

you guys are all tree huggers


Steve Steele 4 years ago

And maybe we should put new protections on rats instead of trying to control them. They certainly "balance" our ecosystem as well.


am301986 profile image

am301986 4 years ago from New Delhi

Very interesting and informative hubs......Thanks for sharing. cheers :)


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you all so much!


AyCassandra profile image

AyCassandra 4 years ago from Quad Cities

i love wolfs!


TheMMAZone profile image

TheMMAZone 4 years ago from Kansas

When you think it about it.. it is sad that we have to have programs in place to protect the animals from humans killing them off. sad.. but I am certainly glad there are and I appreciate you writing about it and explaining it to someone like me who isn't that educated on the topic.


VoiceInUniverse profile image

VoiceInUniverse 4 years ago from Johnson City, TN

A wonderful and informative hub on one of my favorite creatures...not to mention the beautiful photography. I voted this one UP!


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 4 years ago

Nice hub very well written.The eocosystems are both fragile and interdependent every plant,insect and animal is woven together tightly .


pandula77 profile image

pandula77 4 years ago from Norway

Very interesting and informative hub! Thanks for sharing! Excellent.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you Lissa!


Lissa Mirror profile image

Lissa Mirror 4 years ago

Such a great animal. Thanks that you gave us opportunity to know more about them


Nfc readers 4 years ago

Thank you for your great post. This blog is great

http://www.nfcwireless.com.au/


Mlssilva profile image

Mlssilva 4 years ago from Figueira da Foz

They are spectacular animals! So beautiful! For me they are the ultimate survivors! Seeing them back to nature, fills me with hope that the man is becoming more consciousness about the importance of preserving the environment and Mother Nature. Hope to see more actions like this to happen.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Mrs. Menagerie, I just stumbled up on this well written hub while traversing across the pages for a hub on a totally different subject, but, this has been a topic of discussion between myself and wesmantodshaw here on the pages and I had read a news article on the slaughter of a good number, I find it sad as there are areas that these animals could be trapped and released to control over populations of deer, my little brother lives in Tennessee and on his drive to work he has hit at least three white tail deer per year in the last 4 years. The state has allowed a hunter to take (if memory serves) 2 or 3 antlered deer per season but 3 antler-less deer per day. They like Texas have a Ferrel hog population problem, I don't see why the wolves could not be planted in these areas to balance the system, especially where the ferrel hog is destroying the farm land, I would think wolves eating the massive piglet production would be welcomed by farmers, the damn government makes management of species like a see saw, up down up down. I mean come on 3 deer a day every day the season is open? That produces people who like to kill things for the heck of it and then walk away.

I'm a hunter, I live off wild game, literally. If I kill it, I eat it and if I don't my dogs will, nothing gets wasted. I raise my chickens for eggs and meat.

Great hub voted up,

50


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

It looks awesome that they are bringing back some of the wolves!


Liz El profile image

Liz El 4 years ago from Everett, WA

Thanks for a balanced and well-written article. I have friends on both sides of the pro/con debate and have not always known what to believe. This article gives me the truth from both sides and helps me understand the issue better.


alliah 4 years ago

where are the pros and cons specifically?


Ruby Glasser profile image

Ruby Glasser 4 years ago from Wyoming

I am so sad, and amazed, that these wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone...how safe is that? Of course this is a complicated issue in which I am not educated, but in putting them back here (I live in the shadows of Yellowstone) it's only a matter of time until they would once again become targets of wrath and ruthlessly hunted down, hated. That's how many of us humans want to do things -- make nature yield to whatever suits us best and conform to our needs rather than work for cohabitation.


cocofireah profile image

cocofireah 4 years ago from USA

This is one of the best hubs about animals!


Java Programs profile image

Java Programs 4 years ago from India

Hi Menagerie,

This is one of the best hubs about animals. This wolf is getting extinct and in family of endangered species.

Very well written hub and photos of wolf are just awesome ... Keep up the good work...

Thanks,

Java Programs


vbulletinskins profile image

vbulletinskins 4 years ago

Wonderful article. Extremely informative and welcome to hubpages!


Geraldnduru profile image

Geraldnduru 4 years ago from Kenya

great hub.I would like to see wolves because i have never seen one in my lifetime


MarkLockwood profile image

MarkLockwood 4 years ago from USA

The wolf is amazing and through reintroduction to their natural habitat will hopefully see there continuation as a species.


Mike 4 years ago

My brother got two wolves as a gift and they ate all my ducks. One got run down by a car on the road while the other one was shot dead. These were gray and very fast animals, that would even get indoors and scare the life out of me. http://www.micoequipment.com


slywas007 profile image

slywas007 4 years ago from Miami Florida

Awesome Hub and it was very well written. The research you did was impeccable. I enjoyed reading the entire Hub. I am a lover of all animals and I hate to see animals killed. I agree we all need to learn to co-exist and share our beautiful planet. The Wolves are just trying to survive just like we are!!!


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Saving of these species is really very much important for human mankind to create balance in nature


alifeofdesign profile image

alifeofdesign 4 years ago from New Hamphire

Great hub. I loved the subject matter so I quickly clicked on the link t read. I agree that the question is how we better co-exist. So often, we forget that we MUST share this planet. The concept that we are the higher species just doesn't prove a point with me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. BEst Regards,


Freak007 profile image

Freak007 4 years ago from Bahir dar , Ethiopia

oh thank you so much for sharing

and please sense i am new to hubpages i need some followers can you follow me guys i'll follow you back thanks


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Our state is talking about taking wolves off the endangered list. I worry about putting my dogs outside because I know wolves are in and out of our yard but so are bears. I hate to see the killing of either one.


lifemoments profile image

lifemoments 4 years ago


Magicdust Staff profile image

Magicdust Staff 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Beautiful animals, great hub bring attention to the issue, many thanks


jenniferg78 profile image

jenniferg78 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

This is so interesting and your research is impeccable. Voting up.


yellow2mato profile image

yellow2mato 4 years ago from Texas

Beautiful animals. Thanks for writing the article and all the information.


dlolz25 profile image

dlolz25 4 years ago from lipa City

this is very interesting


Eliminate Cancer profile image

Eliminate Cancer 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Really enjoyed this - I'm a fan of wolves!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you Fuller Middle School and I'm glad to hear that this was helpful...

Thanks so much BillyBuc!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great hub! Well-researched and presented professionally. Love it!


Fuller Middle School 4 years ago

Hi guys thanks for all the great info about wolves. We are writing a letter for enviormental organizations, so we appreciate this amazing piece of writing.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Hi Phoenix...funny thing, right after reading your comment, I drove to work and also saw a big beautiful, healthy coyote. It is still a thrill for me every time I see wild life of Montana. I hope my grandchildren will get to see them too.


Ky Series profile image

Ky Series 4 years ago

As an Idaho native (that's a northwest state for those who don't know) I can say that the reintroduction of gray wolves and their inclusion on the endangered species list is a heated issue up here. Holistically, it boils down to a question of federal vs. state government, and the extent to which Washington is the representing the differing voices of Americans.

Interesting hub. Thanks.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

This is a tailor-made hub for me.

I am a strong pro wolf person. As a matter of fact, I love all top predators and believe that they are key to maintaining balance in ecology. I have been observing wolves all my life and admiring their behaviour. I have also covered them in my hub at:

http://hubpages.com/animals/dogs-in-Islam-and-dogs...

Your hub is interesting to me because it talks about a 3rd option too. National Geopgraphic in one of its issues in 2008-09 had an article on how hunters are helping manage both prey and predators in the USA. I believe that in the long run its going to be hunters like those mentioned in the article who will be critical for survival of all of our natural heritage.

I am against anti-wolf group, because I have personally observed how ranchers and farmers in Canada have used livestock guardian dogs to defend their livestock against predation from wolves, bears, mountain lions, coyotes, etc. hence, blaming predators for losses is baseless.

Once again, a great hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

Ohio reintroduced the grey wolf to its parks, especially in Delaware County, around 1986. After 25 years, the wold has increased some in numbers and the over-populated deer seem to have declined somewhat. Unlike the film "The Grey", we haven't heard of a wolf attack on humans in Central Ohio in all that time.


CHyNCHyN profile image

CHyNCHyN 4 years ago from Malaysia

He look like my Husky!

So cute~


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 4 years ago from USA

Yesterday I saw a coyote that was really close to the town I live near. It seemed odd for him or her to be so close to town. He stopped and looked back and he was only 40-60 feet away and he was a beautiful mix of colors. Lots of browns mixed in with the grays. He looked really healthy. I liked all your Grey Wolf in Yellowstone photographs, they are really a beautiful animal. Great hub!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Exactly!


SOKCGOLD profile image

SOKCGOLD 4 years ago from Lees Summit, MO

Nice article. Virtually every time people get involved in "managing" nature, the end result is mismanagement.


Hawkstryker profile image

Hawkstryker 4 years ago from England

Great hub Mrs. Menagerie! Very informative and interesting! Let's hope and pray that the courts approve the wolves' protection.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

Hi Mrs Menagerie, this is a sad story and it reminds me of the human genocide that are happening and still happening around the world, directly or indirectly to some of the human races, either due to their cultural, religious or ethnic background


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you very much wild child...such a kind compliment!


Wildchild87 profile image

Wildchild87 4 years ago from Fond du Lac

Very interesting article! I am always appalled at how many people are just anti-wolf and think they (wolves) should all just die. It's nice to see that someone realizes there are shades of gray in every debate. You were able to do research for your article and that you were very unbiased also. Hope to read more from you!


Magdelene profile image

Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks

Excellent Hub Mrs. Menagerie. Very real and people need to take notice. Voted up and awesome.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks so much tiffanytwisted...I've been attentively following their plight for years....


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you all for your comments...it is so sad to see the reports of how many were shot on this or that week in our local paper. Grrrr.


roosterbob profile image

roosterbob 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Beautiful pictures! I've always had love for canines of all kind.


carteblancheiskey 4 years ago

Unbelievable! That got me heated. I almost smashed my monitor in the torrid event of reading it. What it comes down to is that either the wolf is going to be completely eliminated--a creature that has been around far longer than any source of commercial income, for the mere sake of income--or the wolf is going to be regulated and kicked into a retched cage far too inadequate for what it naturally deserves. Gah! (Garbling wildly.) Very informative writing, however. That's a fine article. Thanks.


PrettyWater profile image

PrettyWater 4 years ago from Big Lake, Minnesota

I think wolves are beautiful. I have been fascinated by them all my life. Thank you for this wonderful post.


Kevin Schmelzlen profile image

Kevin Schmelzlen 4 years ago from Julian, CA

Great article! It is a shame that the wolves are being hunted in Montana and Idaho. They are so intelligent and socially complex; it's not just the population as a whole that suffers from game hunting, but the relatives of the animal that was shot as well.


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Great hub, really well written. They are considering reintroducing Wolves here in the UK, they've been extinct here since 1745. They need to at least consider it, because we have a burgeoning population of Red Deer, particularly across the Highlands, but of course, being a small Island with a huge human population, there's always the question of space and being able to co-exist with humans.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Ireally enjoyed this one and was not surprised to see all the comments.Great work, and I vote up plus bookmark.

Take care and enjoy your day;

Eddy.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Great hub..Thanks for the post


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Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

Very Nice Hub. Bookmarking this one for sure!

Blessings,

~Lisa


Shaddie profile image

Shaddie 4 years ago from Washington state

Nice hub, voted up.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

I'm amazed at how this hub resurfaced up to the top of the hubs search list after 9 months of its initial release on hub, I'm now aware of wolves and their conditional status currently in the US, or anywhere for that matter.

Thanks for proving such a great historical resource here, and I'll bookmark it to share with others. You gave me an idea of creating a collection of hubs such as this nature for the benefits of all animals & animal rights activists.

I'm sure going to be a new fan of yours if I'm not already one, voted up for awesomeness & all other categories except for funny, because of the serious nature this hubs topic discussion.


guyjackson 4 years ago

Hey Mrs Menagerie..

Its a very hot topic for today in Montana that "Can human and Wolf exists together?" There is some pros and cons of co-existence of these two species human and wolf. But i want to say that wolf are also a god gifted species and we, the human being should care for them also. Anyway it is a very big issue and need a lot of discussion and points to be considered. Thanks for posting this type of hub, images give it a real look.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Great hub! I believe all animals have a right to live. We, as humans, are supposed to be smart enough to help the balance. I don't believe any animal should be erradicated. Thank you for caring enough to write this hub! Voted up and will be following.


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 4 years ago from Savannah GA.

Great job on this subject that I am quite passionate about, the preservation of predators! Wolves are one of my favourite animals and it is sad when they are made into a monsters and destroyed with no regard! I will link this with some of my own hubs!


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Darkmetaly 5 years ago from Iceland Höfn í Hornafirði.

very interesting we don't have many animals like this inn Iceland the only thing that comes close is the arctic fox the only native land mammal in Iceland. anyway thank you for this wonderful Hub


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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks Romulus!


Romulus 5 years ago

I'm sure you've heard, Great Post! Hunters are getting lazy and blaming the wolves for being at it than they are. Their solution is simple: Eradicate them so I can eradicate elk better


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you ershruti! This is a very important topic to me.


ershruti304 profile image

ershruti304 5 years ago from Shimla

Great work, nicely jotted and truly deserves appreciation. Best part is the linking among its various sections.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you kindly HS...this is a topic that I have been educating myself about for more than a decade.

Hello style, it is such a sad thing that we are all repeating the same mistakes...


style-of-life profile image

style-of-life 5 years ago from Netherlands

Wow. Interesting hub. In Europe most wolves have been eradicated as well. They once walked the woods throughout the entire continent. I believe rare sighting occur in Eastern Europe only, unfortunately. Such fascinating animals. Thx for the hub!


Home Security 5 years ago

I enjoyed your blog. It’s easy to read, the content is good, and you’re an educated writer unlike most of the blogs I come across when searching on this topic.

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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

That really sounds amazing ginnin...thank you.


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grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

wolves fascinate me, and my family and I go out to the wolf sanctuary right outside of St Louis, where we live. You get to go out and see all of the wolves interacting, eating, and playing in their "areas", acreage with cages surrounding them. Then at night everyone goes deep into the heart of the wolf sanctuary and "howls."Pretty soon you hear one wolf, then another, until all around you ,some at a distance and others very close, the wolves are howling louder than the people. A sort of haunting, yet wonderful experience!


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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Hi Mr Smith...I agree!

I hope the wolves fair better in Scotland Silverfish.

Thank you htodd!


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Interesting post..Thanks


Silver Fish profile image

Silver Fish 5 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

Thanks for that, we are having some discussion about wolves in Scotland too.


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

Super interesting hub. I happen to be a practitioner of "hunting" with a camera, and I have to echo doodlebugs' comments on the sounds of the national parks. As many times as I've been to the area since the re-introduction, I've never heard or seen a wolf. But the sound of wolves was missing for far too long from the great "soundscape" of Yellowstone.


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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks so much for the comments...hunting season has come and many wolves have been killed already with approval for many, many more...


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unlitips 5 years ago from Arkansas

wow Excellent hub . . good job:)


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doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

I'll never forget hearing them when we camped at Gran Teton N.P., beautiful and haunting sound!


kripkrip420 profile image

kripkrip420 5 years ago from In relation to what?

Do you take these amazing photographs yourself? Great hub by the way! I personally love wolves. They are beautiful creatures and are very much needed to maintain the natural balance! Thanks for sharing!


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KateWest 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for keeping this info in the public arena.


Lyrickkw profile image

Lyrickkw 5 years ago from PHILADELPHIA

Interesting hub!


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ahorseback 5 years ago

Mrs Menagerie, I admit I was a hunter in my life , and yet I am a lover of nature even more than hunting. I am also a lover of wolves , I would love to see them released here in the northeast ! They are more welcome here on earth than man is ! Awesome hub.....!


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TheEpicJourney 5 years ago from Fairfield, Ohio

Great article Mrs. Menagerie!! The amount of information in here is quite impressive. I have always been a big believer that we humans make the balanced ecosystem far more complicated than it was before us haha. I was in the dark ages about wolves before I read this article. I feel like I've been enlightened.


Nike Free Run 5 years ago

This is a good article and offer some helpful information for me,thank you!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much Teylina and Alastar. The wolves are indeed beautiful and amazing creatures. I am going to update this hub later today because they made the front cover of our local newspaper again...hunts will begin soon.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Alastar, glad I'm still following to see your input. Thanks. They really are intelligent and wonderful creatures. I've always been fascinated by their loyalty..


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great topic to write on Mrs.M and for a different take on the matter here's this: The Native American shamans not so long ago said the wolf spirits were returning to earth to see if it was alright to live amongst man-kind again. How far have we as a species advanced since our near genocide of these intelligent and wonderful creatures.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Oh, yes, protect the wolves-- although I'm not an "evil" any animal (except maybe coyotes) person. I am absolutely taken with the lead photo, here MM, and somehow, someway, I've got to frame it! I loved this hub, but think I keep following because I'm in love with this beautiful animal, as I am with your words!


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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much L2P! I love your comment about evil cats...yes, they are all evil. (grin)


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limelight power 5 years ago from NY NY

I am always a sucker for anything about animals, having two rescues myself - a wonderful dog (huskey / border collie mix) and an evil cat (aren't they all)... Voted up. Protect the wolves.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks so much Teylina!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Just finally found this hub, and love it! First instinct was to say, "No!" (not afraid) but probably should be. As I read, I realized on the same wavelength: appreciate your "real question is how to co-exist" or something like that. From everything I've ever read/studied about them (for decades), they are unbelievable animals in every respect and deserve our respect. Thank you for a great read. Welcome. Following this. Photos AWESOME!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Jean--Thank you for reading and your kind comments: I agree the wolves are beautiful...did you see any in YNP?

Meletele--Thank you for sharing all your valuable knowledge, really thanks so much.

aslanlight--are you a university prof? Thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated.

Thanks all for the encouragement and support!


aslanlight profile image

aslanlight 5 years ago from England

This is an extremely impressive hub. In fact it's the kind that would earn you very good marks if it was a university style essay! I'm off to follow you. If I hurry I might catch you up. :)


Meletele70 5 years ago

Hi Friend!

On the hunting and elk not being as prevalent, my hunter says there are more elk then once upon a time. The reasons, in our area, that outfitters and the general hunter are seeing fewer elk maybe:

1. The prevalence of large and encompassing tracts of private land. Elk are not dumb and as weather cools and the first foot falls of bow hunting season crunch thru the fields and woods of the Gallatin the elk get moving, to private land (or Yellowstone Park). Much of this private land is strictly off limits to the average hunter and outfitters, therefore, creating effective and complete hiding places from the two legged predators.

2. The wolves do keep the herds moving. This is a much different behavior than hunters have seen in the past 100 years. Gone are the easy hunts where outfitters took clients to a certain gulch, draw or feature and quietly waited for the herd, or group, of elk to slowly move thru. With the consistent, natural speed and mobility of a wolf pack the elk have reverted to a more natural and self preserving behavior of constant movement. To hunt effectively hunters need to be more agile and mobile than in days of yore. Some hunters find this difficult and daunting, others find it amazing sport. One bow hunting friend of ours pursued a large bull (mature male) for six days losing 10 lb. (the hunter) but gaining huge man points by finally getting his bull, he was absolutely exhilarated by the effort and achievement. This is a testament to how hunting with wolves in an area can be.

3. Gone too are the days when elk would lazily congregate in the riparian zones endlessly munching on willow shoots, this has become a costly activity for the elk because of the wolves clear advantage, having the high ground and pack hunting methods. The benefit of this behavior change has been witnessed by the re-growth of the willows along the rivers and streams in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). In recent years we have seen more otter, beaver, moose and other species that are natural riparian residents. There has also been a significant reduction in turbidity and spring flooding on many of the GYE rivers with beaver dams and natural vegetation slowing run-off.

So yes, elk are harder to come by for most hunters but the individual elk seem to be healthier. This year our elk (my husband hunts for meat) had over 2" of fat between it's hide and muscles, something we have never seen before. Upon asking a biologist friend about this he thought it was because of the constant movement of the elk. The elk moved to new grassy meadows more frequently, ate less woody vegetation (willow) and therefore had a higher quality of diet. Our cow (mature female elk) weighed as much as some of the bulls my husband hunted 10 to 15 years ago (around 800 lbs). She was a very healthy and vibrant animal as were all of her herd mates (about 100 animals).

Great article and thank you for writing about a very pertinent subject for people living in the GYE! See you soon.


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Hi, that hub was so interesting. I had been to Yellowstone a few years back and knew about the controversy. The wolves are such beautiful creatures! Congrats on a job well done!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Hi Tina,

I'm sorry to hear that the wolves in Sweden are going through the same thing. They are very interesting and fantastic animals.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

Hi Mrs. Menagerie and thanks for writing this very informative hub about wolves. I am sad to say that it is the same here in Sweden. The wolves where extinct here for the same reasons as in Montana and now they have been slowly recovered by reintroduction. They estimate that there are about 15-200 wolves in Sweden and like in Montana it varies between permitting hunting and protection. I don’t know what to say, but I guess no species will benefit from human interference. You are right in saying that we must learn to coexist with the wolves. They are fantastic animals! Thanks for this very well written hub! Voted up/awesome! Tina


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Oh boy! This is soooooo awesome on so many levels. What a gigantic honor to be nominated and I'm so glad that people will be reading about the wolves (which are in great peril.)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Mrs. Menargerie, this big gray wolf got the attention of the Hubnuggets team and this hub has been nominated! Spread the word about these majestic animals by participating--read, vote, promote! This way please: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/Follow-the-Gol...


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Mrs. Menargerie,

Thank you so much for sharing this one.

I love anything to do with animals/nature/wildlife etc and this one was great.

Your obvious hard work paid off.

I now look forward to reading more of your work.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

UPDATE: April 15, 2011: Wolves have been removed from the Endangered Species list; Montana and Idaho are planning fall hunts. Wyoming is likely to go back to their "Shoot on sight" ways...I'm not sure at this point.:(


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Heehee...you didn't sound like a fanatic. But I know how you feel. I sometimes go back and read things that I wrote and think "that's not what I meant to say.":)


DoItForHer 5 years ago

I reread my comment and it sounds like I'm a fanatic! I did want to give some interesting, pertinent information, but would also like to give some balance.

I don't thing wolves should be hunted to extinction, nor is it reasonable to not protect our food from the them. When bears or other animals have food, they often fight to keep it; this is normal.

I grew up around wolves and livestock and had never heard anyone say, "Oh, those darn wolves again! Something needs to be done!" I don't understand the level of animosity towards wolves. It is a big deal, but not as big of a deal as some people make it out to be.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Seeker7

Thanks so much...the history of wildlife in the UK should have been a lesson to us here. I really appreciate your feedback and your awareness.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Fascinating hub. Wolves are certainly one of my favourite animals. Obviously in the UK we don't have this conflict as our wolves were viciously hunted to extinction a few hundred years ago, along with bears, wild pig and boars to name a few. The UK lost a great heritage. We can still see wolves of course but they are in wildlife parks/zoos. We have some that were imported from North America since it is felt that they are closest in species to the original British wolf. But we also have some from the European mainland who are a bit smaller than the Timber. I'm in Scotland and the tendency is to have our wolves in wildlife parks with fenced boundaries rather than in Zoos, although Wolf Watch UK in England also has parks.

The devastation caused in the UK by the predators being made extinct was felt for hundreds of years and is still being felt to this day. I really hope this doesn't happen in the USA. I do agree that people have a right to protect their property and livestock, there is no question about that. But at the same time I do advocate that as humans we also have a duty to protect nature and ensure a good balance is maintained. Your country is very beautiful and you are so lucky to still have all these animals in the wild, it would be such a tragedy if the USA were to loose this heritage as the UK did.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

DoItForHer, I agree that it would be nice if hunters would "become better sportsmen" rather than blaming the wolves for making hunting more challenging. I don't have anything against fair hunting but I keep reading that elk populations have NOT actually decreased, the elk are simply migrating differently in response to the presence of wolves. But ask any hunter around here, or a hunting guide for that matter, and they will tell you that "the elk just aren't there anymore." And they believe 100 percent that it is the fault of the wolves. BTW, The wolf population IS decreasing according to recent reports.

I did not know that vultures kill livestock, interesting. I have heard of Golden Eagles killing calves.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Keep in mind XxRoxorzBoxorzxX that losing one cow is not just losing the revenue from that animal but all of the time, feed, medication, hard work ,etc. that was put into raising that cow. Also, if a breeding cow is killed, the revenue from all that cow's potential offspring is lost.

Like I said, it is a complex issue. I believe that cattle owners have every right to protect their property, I just don't think it should be done by shooting every wolf in the state on sight.

Interestingly, I have heard there are ways of detering wolves with sound frequencies only they can hear, I don't know the pros and cons of this technique but I find it very interesting. Like you said, if we humans use our heads we can probably think of solutions.


DoItForHer 5 years ago

Hunting has improved for some species. Antelope populations are increasing because the wolves are displacing the coyotes that feed on the newborns. Wolves don't feed on them, while coyotes love the little guys. The antelope hunters have more opportunities when wolves are reestablished. More antelope hunters means more business.

Elk populations are doing well in most areas. We see fewer elk because the elk are now moving around trying to stay away from the wolves. Having elk be more mobile makes it harder for us to hunt them, but that means we should become better sportsman instead of killing more wolves.

Wolves keep the ungulates moving around which helps prevent overgrazing. More trees and willows grow. More beaver ponds develop which creates more opportunities for hunting waterfowl. More hunters again means more business.

Wolves account for an amazingly small number of livestock fatalities. If ranchers and farmers wanted to protect their livestock, they would put their energies into stopping feral domestic dogs who kill more animals more than wolves do. Vultures kill more cattle than wolves, so why isn't there an uprising against vultures?

The erosion caused from overgrazing hurts streams and rivers. This reduces fishing opportunities. By increasing fishing, more fishermen/women patronize the local establishments, which is good for business.

Wolves are a serious predator, but we need to treat them as such instead of some fear-mongering super-predator.


xXRoxorzboxorzXx profile image

xXRoxorzboxorzXx 5 years ago from None of your businesses

People think they have a choice on choosing what dies in this world. if you think an animal should die , then you should die. make it simple people, use your heads, if your livestock is in trouble you can loos at least on cow or something. the cow or whatever is going to die by use slaughtering them, for us to eat. so why is it a problem if one of your cows is killed by a wolf. go on youtube, and there are these people that tell you how you can stop them from eating your livestock.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Oh cool! I'll let O know. Thanks. :)


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Oh thank you so much Denise! I am working on taking some photos for this hub...it will be nicer for people like Olivia if I have some pictures of our local wolves smiling at the camera. By-the-way, we have an adopt-a-wolf program at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone and some people on my gift list have gotten to "adopt" whether they liked it or not...hehehe.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Welcome to Hubpages, Mrs Menagerie. This hubmob topic must have been an easy one for you! Cardelean took the words out of my mouth (my daughter). I was going to share this with my granddaughter, but, I'll let her do it, LOL.

As a resident of Montana, you are much closer to this ongoing problem than I am here in NC. It saddens me. I know Olivia is waiting anxiously to see Yellowstone and have the chance to observe any wolves. This Christmas her mom 'adopted' one for her as a gift. There is a place in MS that has this set up.

Thanks for the great hub.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks cardelean for reading about these beautiful animals. Maybe I could borrow some of your niece's pictures:)

Every day there is another article about the wolves in our local newspaper so I need to keep updating this hub.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Great job giving some very informative facts about wolves. My 11 year old niece is "wolf crazy." She writes stories about them, draws pictures, and collects statues and stuffed animals of them. I will definitely be sharing this with her, thanks I learned a lot!


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Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you kashmir56, I really appreciate your comment.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mrs. Menagerie, great information and a very interesting read ! I think Wolves are so fascinating .

Awesome and vote up !!!

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