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Yellowstone Wolves Killed by Hunters Reduces Population

Publish Date: January 12, 2022
Contact Name: Phillip Imler
Contact Number: GANP Contact Page

According to a report by Fox News, there have been 20 wolves killed reducing the population in Yellowstone National Park to under 100.

It is well documented how returning and growing the wolf population to the national park revitalized the entire ecosystem of the park.  Now, authorities are beginning to wonder how the hunting season may bring the species back to a threatened status within the park.

These wolves were shot with permission during hunting season, however, the reduction in population is raising questions and concerns.  It is reported that the Phantom Lake Pack was killed off in October of last year.  The population of wolves in the national park numbers 94, and of the 150 wolves killed in Montana during the hunting season, 62 come from areas around the national park.

Trappers and hunters have killed around 300 wolves during the 2018 and 2019 hunting seasons.  It is imperative that the National Park Service and the states of Montana and Wyoming evaluate the hunting permits and seasons and ensure that wolves do not become extinct in the park again.

It was only 25 years ago that wolves were returned back to Yellowstone and their return proved to be meaningful for the vitality of the ecosystem of the park.  Now, conservationists and the community are beginning to wonder how the hunting season is threatening the survival of the species in the park.

Yellowstone is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming with parts of the boundaries carrying over into Idaho and Montana.  Of course, the territory of the wolves expands beyond the borders of the park calling for conservation efforts that also extend beyond the boundaries of the park.

Hunting is illegal in Yellowstone, however, wolves do not recognize the borders of the park and easily roam outside of the park into areas of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming where they are hunted.  Each of these wolves was hunted in the surrounding areas but recognized as wolves who live traditionally within the borders of the park.