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From Gizmodo:

Twenty-five years ago, wildlife managers in Yellowstone National Park undertook one of the most consequential actions in modern American conservation when they unleashed 14 wolves into the park.

The program to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 has since seen wolf packs fan out across one of the largest intact ecosystems in the Lower 48. Reintroducing an apex predator that humans wiped out earlier in the century has had consequences both intended and unintended. It was—and continues to be—wildly controversial but also 100% right. Ecosystems have flourished under a newly found balance; tourists have come to catch a glimpse of animals no longer found in many other states; and scientists have had a chance to observe an unprecedented experiment in rewilding.

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From ScienceNews.org:

Wildlife ecologist Jim Halfpenny was standing by the stone arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park on January 12, 1995, when horse trailers eased through carrying the first wild gray wolves to enter the park in about 60 years. Delivered from Canada, these wolves were the beginning of a historic attempt to complete and restore the park’s ecosystem by reintroducing a species wiped out decades before (SN: 3/17/19).

He remembers that the schoolchildren who had gathered were disappointed to see only trailers, with not even a glimpse of fur. However, Halfpenny and the other elated adults “were up there howling our heads off,” he says.

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From National Geographic:

Twenty-five years after gray wolves returned to Yellowstone National Park, the predators that some feared would wipe out elk have instead proved to be more of a stabilizing force. New research shows that by reducing populations and thinning out weak and sick animals, wolves are helping create more resilient elk herds.

For the past 12 years, elk numbers in the park’s largest herd have leveled off between about 6,000 and 8,000, instead of extreme boom-and-bust cycles due to climate fluctuations.

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From the Billings Gazette and the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Russ Lucas first noticed in mid-April that an unwelcome neighbor — wolves — were back on his family’s Spring Gulch cattle ranch.

The hindquarter of a calf, he recalled, had been bit into, and its hide peeled back. Seeing the severity of the wounds, the third-generation rancher knew exactly what had happened and what he needed to do.

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From the Missoula Current:

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — The black wolves of Yellowstone are a striking icon that draws many wildlife watchers to the world’s first national park.

But scientists say historically wolves did not have black coats. Cutting-edge science is now revealing the secret behind the origin of the black wolf.

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From KBZK.com in Bozeman, Montana:

The black wolves of Yellowstone are a striking icon that draws many wildlife watchers to the world’s first national park.

But scientists say historically, wolves did not have black coats. Cutting edge science is now revealing the secret behind the origin of the black wolf.

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From the Billings Gazette:

Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologists will broadcast on Facebook Live each Tuesday at 11 a.m. MST in March to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the return of wolves to the ecosystem. Speakers will conclude each session by answering questions.

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From The Missoulian in Montana:

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission tightened wolf hunting rules near Yellowstone National Park and reduced elk shoulder seasons in west-central Montana Thursday.

The subject of elk and wolves together took up the bulk of the rule-making body’s daylong meeting in Helena, which was streamed to Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Offices around the state. By the time the agency’s wolf proposals came up towards the end, the commission limited commenters to 3 minutes each.

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From fairfieldsuntimes.com

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposes to extend the wolf hunting and trapping seasons in northwestern Montana.

The agency is currently setting hunting seasons for the 2020-2021 biennium. Its Region One office, which covers Lincoln, Flathead, Sanders and Lake Counties, announced the proposals in a press release Wednesday. If approved by the rule-making Fish and Wildlife Commission, they would:

  • Extend the general hunting season from Sept. 15-March 15 to Aug. 15-March 31.
  • Extend the trapping season’s end date from Feb. 28 to March 15.
  • Increase the individual limit from five wolves per person to 10.

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From bozemandailychronicle.com

The day the wolves arrived in Yellowstone National Park was busy. At least that’s how Norm Bishop remembers it.

The wolves came in aluminum crates on horse trailers Jan. 12, 1995. Passing through the gates, the Canadian-born carnivores were the first of their kind in the park in decades, other than the occasional rumor or random sighting.

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