Wolf Science Fair Project takes Third Place - by Maria Ferguson
Wolf Howl Animal Preserve feels that education is the key to keeping the Wolf in our ecosystem. We recently had the opportunity to answer a few questions from a second grade student, Kesa, who was working on her Science Fair Project, entitled, “Why are Wolves Important in the Wild?” We are very proud to announce that Kesa took Third Place at the Science Fair. We feel that this is quite an accomplishment for a child her age competing against children 5 grades higher than she is. Below is the written work from her project.
Why are Wolves Important in the Wild?
Wolves are so important to the ecosystem that if they were removed it would affect many plants, trees and other animals.
There are three main areas that would benefit from the Wolf being in the wild.
1. Scavengers and other meat eating animals – Scavengers will benefit from a Wolf kill. When a Wolf pack is done eating the animal they killed, other animals will come along and finish. Smaller animals and birds live off the leftovers a Wolf pack leaves behind. Some animals and birds that benefit are: Ravens, Eagles, Coyote, Bears, and other small animals.
2. Herds – Wolves kill the weakest, the injured, the sick and the diseased members of the herd. That keeps the herd healthy. More food is left for the fittest members of the herd who will then have healthier babies.
3. Plants and Landscape – Wolves will also help the landscape by making herds smaller, which will allow plants, grasses, trees and streams to grow more and be healthy. Yellowstone National Park was without the Wolf for 70 years. The park had way to many hoofed animals, which caused overgrazing of the Parks grasslands. Since Wolves were reintroduced into the Park 11 years ago, there have been studies showing how the Wolf is helping the Park’s natural ecosystem. Streamside Cottonwood and Willow trees that have not been seen in the Park for 50 years due to over eating by the hoofed animals are making come back. And now the river and streams are healthier. Also when Wolves chase a herd during a hunt, the herd is forced to run faster and farther. As the herd runs, their hooves move the soil around so it’s not packed and hard. This let’s more grass grow. Since a herd can not stay still long, because of being hunted by Wolves, Aspens and Willows in one area are not heavily grazed and they can fully recover.
A lot of people think that hunter’s should replace large predators like the Wolf. But that is not a good idea. Hunters will kill the strongest and best-looking animal in the herd for trophy. This will take away from the herd and make the herd weak. Natural predators like the Wolf, will take the easy kill like the sick and weak. And this will make the herd stronger.
“The more people know about Wolves and their role in the environment, the more we can protect both the Wolf and the ecosystems where they live.”
By Monty Sloan, Staff Photographer with Wolf Park
“They deserve a place in the world as much as we do.”
By T. Martino, Director/Founder of Wolf Town
“The Wolf is the greatest predator next to Man. They have roamed the earth for millions of years with a purpose commanded by nature. That purpose is to maintain the natural flow of the wilderness.”
By Maria Ferguson, Founder of Wolf Howl Animal Preserve
“Since the reintroduction of Wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, we have learned much about the effect large carnivores have on the ecosystem.”
By Annie White, Wolf Caretaker with Mission Wolf
“Environmental studies have shown that removing predators drastically changes the ecosystem.”
By Liz Mahaffey, Director with The Wolf Sanctum
“Research in Yellowstone National Park has shown great improvements in the numbers of species that have recovered in areas where Wolves have been reintroduced only a decade ago.”
By Kimberly Miller, General Manager with CA Wolf Center
Wolves are an important part of the ecosystem.
What I think
Why I think Wolves should stay in the wild is because they help other animals. Every animal has the right to live and the Wolf is a beautiful animal. They are not mean or evil like a lot of people think.
1. The internet
2. Email from Wolf Organizations
3. Books: “The Wolves of Yellowstone”, “Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild” and “Wolf Spirit of the Wild”
4. Pictures supplied by some wolf organizations and web sites.
The future of the Wolf depends on us liking and accepting the Wolf. If humans decide Wolves are negative and not needed they will then kill off all the Wolves. Education is the best way for people to accept the Wolf. That is why I did my project on the Wolf in the wild.
Congratulations from the Wolf Howl Animal Preserve Staff, Kesa. You did a great job on your Science Fair Project and please know that you have taught someone something they need to understand about Wolves.
Kesa is a Second Grade Student and is a guardian for one fish, two dogs and two cats. Her hobbies are reading, bike riding and music. We’ve been told she wants to be a Pop Star when she grows up! We could always use a celebrity fighting for our cause, Kesa, so keep the dream alive!