In the 1800s, westward expansion brought settlers and their livestock into direct contact with native predator and prey species. Much of the wolves’ prey base was destroyed as agriculture flourished. With the prey base removed, wolves began to prey on domestic stock, which resulted in humans eliminating wolves from most of their historical range. Predator control, including poisoning, was practiced here in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Other predators such as bears, cougars, and coyotes were also killed to protect livestock and “more desirable” wildlife species, such as deer and elk. Continue: More History, Restoration Proposed, Relocation and Release, Results, Role of the Courts
The wolf is a major predator that had been missing from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for decades until its restoration in 1995.