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Nowadays, the possibility of wolf population’s restoration in the Northeast districts of America draws significant attention. The researchers continue to evaluate the potential advantages and disadvantages of the idea, and, in the state of New York, the public opinion is gradually shifting from negative to positive attitudes towards the reestablishment of the wolf population (Enck & Brown, 2002). The recent findings in the wildlife populations’ research demonstrate that the restoration of wolves in the Adirondack Park may positively influence regional development and may contribute to the improvement of the environmental condition.
The Adirondack Park
The Park occupies a massive part of New York. The territory of the Park comprises a few cities and yet the surroundings of the Adirondack Mountains are in the preserved zone (The Adirondack Park, 2016). It is one of the favorite holiday destinations for many people who love nature, and the initiative for the gray wolf population restoration has the potential for the acceleration of tourism development. Ecotourism is a promising trajectory in the industry, and many people can be attracted by the opportunities to encounter wolves (Enck & Brown, 2002). In this way, economic growth may be regarded as an indirect consequence of animals’ restoration, and economic development will contribute to the enhancement of local infrastructures and increase in life quality.
When the Americans first commenced the settlement in the Northeast of the country, the wolves were perceived as deleterious and dangerous animals. As a result of such prejudiced attitudes and lack of objective knowledge about wolves’ behavior, the animals were completely expatriated by 1874, and at the moment of the official establishment of the Adirondack Park, there were no wolves on its territory (Enck & Brown, 2002). Nowadays, gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which remains in force in forty-eight states. And the further expansion of wolves’ living environment will contribute to species conservation.
One of the biggest environmental challenges in the Adirondack Park is the large and uncontrolled population of deer that significantly harms the environment and raises the issues of deforestation. Deer eat the young shoots of trees and, in this way, contribute to the extinction of some other species. However, the reestablishment of wolves’ population may provoke favorable outcomes in problem-resolving.
It is possible to observe in the example of Yellowstone Park where the similar problems with elk overpopulation took place that the restoration of wolf population may help to maintain the environmental stability (White & Garrott, 2005).
For a long time, elk put the population of beavers at the risk of extinction. Beavers played a huge role in the ecosystem, but when they were deprived of access to the food they simply left the Park’s area, and it led to the gradual desiccation of water reservoirs. The reappearance of wolves helped to restore the delicate balance of the ecosystem. The wolves influenced elks’ behavior – they became more cautious and started to spend most of the time hiding in the forests. As a result, deforestation near the ponds decreased, and other wildlife populations could return to their living environments.
The review of research findings revealed that the restoration of the wolf population may provoke multiple positive outcomes in regional development and environmental stability maintenance. Moreover, the reestablishment of the wolf population has implications for environmental education. The potential benefits for the ecosystem achieved through the reappearance of wolves in the Adirondack Park may be explored and evaluated, and the accumulated evidence will serve as a historical document for the prevention of the similar mistakes provoked by the lack of knowledge.
Enck, J. W., & Brown, T. L. (2002). New Yorkers’ attitudes toward restoring wolves to the Adirondack Park. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 30(1), 16–28. Web.
The Adirondack Park. (2016). Web.
White, P. J., & Garrott, R. A. (2005). Northern Yellowstone elk after wolf restoration. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33(3), 942–955. Web.