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Electronic Field Trip

Teacher Planning Information

Yellowstone National Park was established for "the benefit and enjoyment of the people," as well as for "the preservation and protection of the natural resources." Early park philosophies and policies were much different from those of today, however. Far from being considered important natural resources, wolves and other large predators were perceived as threats to "more desirable" wildlife species such as deer and elk. Wolves were hunted, trapped, poisoned and eventually eliminated from the park. Learning from our past mistakes, we now know that wolves are needed to help restore a natural balance to Yellowstone’s ecosystem.

In an effort to reestablish this absent predator, an experimental group of wolves was brought into Yellowstone in 1995-1996. Since this reintroduction, wolf numbers have increased dramatically and their future in the park appears favorable. Join us on an Internet-based tour where you can learn more about Yellowstone’s wolves. Study the natural history of this fascinating animal, understand how our perceptions have changed, and discover why and how wolves make a difference in Yellowstone National Park’s web of life.

Be sure your students view the Park Orientation Program first!

Pre- and/or Post-Program Lesson Plans:

Pack It Up

Keeping Track of Wolves

Calling All Canids

Speaking of Wolves

Related Web Sites: (includes classroom activity) - If you get a "User Name & Password Box" click "Cance.l" (includes wolf howls, teacher guide, and resources) (includes wolf IQ test)

Curriculum topics: 
1. Natural History of Wolves
2. How People Perceive the Wolf and Why
3. Why Predators are Necessary to the Health of the Ecosystem
4. Predator Control in the U.S. and Yellowstone National Park
5. Comparison of Members of the Canid family
6. Wolves in Yellowstone National Park--a Historical Perspective
7. Description of  Wolf Reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park
8. National Legislation Leading to the Protection of Endangered species in General and the Wolf in Particular
9. How Public Attitudes Towards Wilderness and the Natural World have Changed Over Time

An adult wolf