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In defense of wolves


Longtime visitors know I’ve written a lot about wolves in the western U.S., their reintroduction, the removal of their endangered status, and their slaughter by western hunters and ranchers.

And some of you may recall that back in 2010 I wrote about how their return to Yellowstone meant an increase in wetlands in the park. The return of the wolves actually changed the physical characteristics of the park, to the benefit of all.

Now comes this beautiful video telling the same story — and so much better than I. (My only quibble is the narrator calling the elk “deer.”) Thanks to M.R. Stringer for finding it.


(More about wolves on Pied Type)


  1. What a great story, and so beautifully told too. Thanks.

    As to the nomenclature issue about deer and elk, I found this from Wikipedia, emphasis supplied:

    The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species of the Cervidae or deer family in the world, and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. It was long believed to be a subspecies of the European red deer (Cervus elaphus), but evidence from a 2004 study of the mitochondrial DNA indicates that the two are distinct species.[2]
    This animal should not be confused with the larger moose (Alces alces), to which the name “elk” applies in the British isles and Eurasia. Apart from the moose, the only other member of the deer family to rival the elk in size is the south Asian sambar (Rusa unicolor).

    • The narrator sounded British (?), so that may explain it. Still, I’d have assumed the script was written by Americans familiar with Yellowstone and accustomed to distinguishing elk, moose, and deer.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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