In all the rhetoric and information being presented concerning the delisting of the grey wolf certain basic biological concepts have been ignored. Let us attempt to explain.
"Any population can only be as large as the lowest level of a required need will allow."
What this means is that any attempt to produce populations of any living thing beyond its natural capacity is doomed to failure. Biological and social forces will not allow an artificially inflated population to exist for any extended duration.
All populations are balanced in nature by two factors - decimation factors such as starvation, predation, accidents, regulated hunting and trapping, disease, parasitism, or extremes in climatic conditions are factors which will lower populations.
Welfare factors on the other hand such as abundant food, water, energy sources, regulations and protection, or shelter will increase populations.
Attempts to artificially create conditions that will increase populations above their normal capacity will almost always be met with disastrous consequences for that population.
At some point the population will become so large that automatic decimation factors will kick in that will jeopardize the entire group. Disease and parasitism are two of nature's most significant regulators. As a population increases the chances of these two factors increasing grow exponentially.
Likewise a social factor such as public acceptance of the effects of a larger than natural population may lead to increased mortality.
To put this simply it is possible to "love a population into extinction."
With these thoughts in mind we fear that the present wolf management which has allowed the animal to remain protected from any attempts to keep the population balanced by the only significant decimation factor which is human activity such as hunting and trapping and removal of individuals that exhibit behaviors that jeopardize human activities, although well intentioned, is not realistic.
Well regulated and scientific management that maintains a healthy balanced wolf population is their best chance for survival.
Delistment was the necessary action to begin the process. The next step in the process was to list the animal as a game species and establish a scientific, well managed method of population control.
Michigan has done just that with the introduction of a hunting and trapping season that is limited towards removal of wolves only in those areas where the animals have, by virtue of their numbers, have presented a danger to domestic animals, other forms of wildlife, and in some cases humans by virtue of the disease potential that a bloated overpopulation harbors.
The response to scientific management has come from sources such as the out of state Humane Society of the U.S. and the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected group who have resorted to lies and misinformation to mislead Michigan citizens.
They have used a lot of money, much of which the receive by deceiving the public by pretending to be animal protectionists group. In reality they are an anti-hunting organization who will go to any length to advance their agenda.
Wolf protection is a cover to their real intention which is to outlaw all hunting and trapping even when it defies all the rules of scientific game management. They will use their deep pocketed financial resources to buy people to pass out petitions and flood the public with misinformation.
Please don't be fooled.
The wolf is the poster child for the anti-hunting movement. It is a beautiful but deadly animal. It is an opportunistic predator.
It does not feed on only the sick and the weak and at times will kill for the pleasure of it or to teach its young how to kill.
If you do not have the animals in your back yard you don't really have a true perspective of the problem. Don't let emotion rule over scientific game management. Michigan has a proud heritage of hunting and trapping.
Let us retain this heritage.