Letter to the editor: Letter about wolves was devoid of any truth whatsoever
The letter to the editor from Terry Donze (“There’s a reason we killed dangerous wolves in the past” published Feb. 13) regarding the reintroduction of wolves into Colorado was astounding in its hubris and false narrative, fully devoid of any truth whatsoever. Clearly his politics override his ability to determine the facts.
Donze’s premise was that “the moose population has been devastated” by the reintroduction of wolves in Wyoming. A brief discussion with a wildlife biologist yields factual information. “… the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has not documented unacceptable wolf-related impacts to moose.” (Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 2018) And “… WY Game and Fish biologists in the Cody, Wyoming area are not concerned as they consider that moose are doing fine.” (Personal contact, BLM, Cody, WY, Feb. 14, 2020)
Only five moose herds are within the current wolf range in the state. Three of those are in decline and two are not. But several moose herds outside of these five units are also declining.
And many factors impact a herd, Smith et al (2011) states that “50% of Wyoming’s aspen has been lost since the 1800s and a historical willow decline has occurred throughout some crucial winter range areas.”
“… population declines in eight herd units in western Wyoming have been documented since the early 1990’s, before wolf reintroduction.” (Smith et al; 2011)
And finally, “Another key factor negatively affecting Wyoming moose populations is the carotid nematode, a brain-attacking worm suspected as a factor in the steep decline of western Wyoming moose herds.” (Zuckerman 2011) “This parasite can cause moose to be in poor nutritional condition, go blind, and die.” (University of Wyoming 2014)
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It is amazing what a little research and an open mind will provide. I’m still looking into Idaho elk populations, but suspect I’ll come up with similar information.
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