The Economic Effects Of The Gray Wolves In Yellowstone National Park

1192 Words 5 Pages
In 1974, the gray wolf was placed on the endangered species list, but in Yellowstone National Park wolves had already been hunted for almost a hundred years, the last pack being killed off in 1926. In 1995, eight wolves were relocated from western Canada to Yellowstone, and in the next year, a total of thirty-one wolves were brought in (NPS, 2016). This was the start of what some may call one of the greatest wildlife restoration projects ever undertaken. Twenty years after the fact, Yellowstone is home to approximately 130 wolves (Missoulian, 2015).The economic effects of the returned presence of these animals has impacted both tourism and ranching in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Based on a 2005 survey of park visitors conducted by economist John Duffield, more than 2.4 million (85%) people viewed wildlife during their time in Yellowstone. For many, up to 45% of visitors, wildlife viewing is listed as their primary activity. The Gray Wolf is second only to grizzlies as one species that visitors hope to see. Even though wolves were not present in the park at the time,
…show more content…
The wolves have both use and existence value to park visitors and non-visitors alike. With varying results by season, up to 44% of respondents said they personally benefited from hearing or seeing the wolves (Duffield et al. 2005). Up to 66% said they received satisfaction from simply knowing that there were wolves present in Yellowstone. It’s no wonder that both the 1991 and 2005 surveys recorded nearly 70% support for wolf restoration in the park. Conversely, an increase in the wolf population correlates to a decrease in other big game populations such as elk, bison, and moose. Up to 61% of respondents indicated their park enjoyment would decrease with a reduction in these populations (Duffield et al, 2005). Elk populations in particular decreased by approximately 8% per year from 1995 to 2004 (Vucetich et al,

Related Documents