Can Wolves Help Hunt Disease?


The return of wolves across the American West has raised howls from ranchers worried about their livestock, and hunters worried that wolves will make deer and elk more scarce during hunting season. Wolf boosters counter those arguments with data on how wolves improve the health of ecosystems by preventing overgrazing and overpopulation. But some scientists studying one of the worst scourges to afflict deer in North America—chronic wasting disease (CWD)—think wolves could have another benefit. It’s possible that the predators could help to chase down the disease and reduce its impact.

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