May 27th, 2016 brings us 90-days away from the National Park Service Centennial. In this edition of the #CentennialCountdown we learn about a very sad year in year in National Park history.
1926 is the year that wolves were eradicated from Yellowstone National Park. The US Fish and Wildlife service reports, “to protect livestock, ranchers and government agencies began an eradication campaign. Bounty programs initiated in the 19th century continued as late as 1965, offering $20 to $50 per wolf. Wolves were trapped, shot, dug from their dens, and hunted with dogs. Poisoned animal carcasses were left out for wolves, a practice that also killed eagles, ravens, foxes, bears, and other animals that fed on the tainted carrion.”
As expected, livestock were not killed by wolves when they were all decimated. Elk were also not culled, due to losing their main predator. In our 1995 edition of the #CentennialCountdown we will tell you more about the problems that the increase in elk caused and what happened when wolves were reintroduced. If you think that a couple of months is a long time to wait to hear the end of this story, just imagine waiting 69-years!