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Old 02-10-2013, 05:22 PM
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by whitefeather View Post
The wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone were of the sub-species, Canis lupus occidentalis, the largest of the grey wolf species, which gets nearly 100 lbs. larger than the original species (canis lupis irremotus). CI irremotus was not extirpated from the Canadian province of Alberta, so why wasn't it chosen to replace the original Yellowstone wolves, instead of the largest sub-species from the Artic regions?

The smaller wolf which was original to that area might have been a much better choice in the balance between wolf and elk, without as much damage to the elk herd and surrounding cattle, sheep, etc. Were they even needed? Some say yes, the elk were overgrazing the park and becoming sickly. Because of the overgrazing the beaver were disappearing, not creating the wetlands needed to replenish the grasses. Enter the coyote, which were also reintroduced and got out of hand. Perhaps the choice of the larger wolf was to trim the coyote packs also. The larger CI occidentalis, is reputed to "kill for sport", while the smaller, CI irremotus kills for survival.

Maybe this business of man trying to act out his "god complex" by balancing the ecosystem might work a tad better if he did his homework according to biological history and not according to his own political whims.

As for the hogs in the park (feral pigs and asian boars), they are both invasives, brought here by early settlers and years before that by the Spaniards. When does an invasive become a native? They do absolutely no good in the park or surrounding areas. Their impact is pure negative, from destroyed fauna to polluted streams. Why are they still allowed to multiply? And no, they are not "controlled", as we would be persuaded to believe. If the park service were really concerned about keeping the GSMNP a viable ecosystem, they would extirpate the wild hogs with bounties and hog hunts. The few professional hunters they employ can not even begin to keep up with the population. Crisis management doesn't solve problems, it just extends them. Just my two cents worth.
What would you suggest as a solution for pigs in the park? They hunt them, and while I agree with many of your points I don't see any easy solutions. I'm sure the park service would be thrilled if there were no pigs in the park
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