Student's Page
The teacher begins with explaining about extinction and the effects it has on the ecosystem and surrounding areas. Explain what a keystone species is within the ecosystem and the reason for their importance. After the key terms are covered:
  • Keystone species,
  • Extinction

After covering the key terms, then begin to explain the background of the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park.

   In mid-January 1995, 14 wolves from many separate packs were captured in Canada and then transported into Yellowstone Park and placed into one-acre acclimation pens.
   The reasons for not capturing an entire pack, or packs and moving them into Yellowstone is primarily because it is very difficult if not impossible. When a pack hears a helicopter approaching they generally run for cover---the timber. Biologists were lucky to capture one or two individual wolves out of each pack.
    Capturing individuals out of different packs also cut down on the chances of inbreeding later on and increased our DNA pool right from the start. Had we captured three entire packs the first year the chances of inbreeding would have greatly increased.
    Biologists then placed a dominant male wolf with a dominant female wolf along with several young subordinate wolves into each 1 acre acclimation pen, and within about 24 hours or so the wolves in each of three pens had the entire pack structure figured out, and in each case but one, the newly formed alphas mated and gave birth. The one case were this did not happen was during the second years release (winter 1996-97). When the Nez Perce pack was released. The male wolves went one direction and the female wolves went another.
    The three pens were constructed the previous summer at three different locations in the Northern range of Yellowstone; one at Crystal Creek, one at Rose Creek, and the third at Soda Butte creek. The soft release method was used in Yellowstone Park, versus the hard release method which was used in Idaho.
(from Bearman's ~ Yellowstone Outdoor Adventures!)

Continue with the explanation from Bearman's ~ Yellowstone Outdoor Adventures! or create a new one. Once the topic has successfully been covered, have the students do their own research on the topic and being up the idea of choosing one of the 19 wolf packs they are most interested in.


After the students have picked their packs, have them follow the steps on the process page. For the topographical map section, there is a larger version of both maps found by clicking on them.

Once the students has successfully created the presentations, have them present them. Once completed, have the students write a persuasive essay stating whether they feel it has been benificial for the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Parks.


© 2006 Christopher Kotila