I think most of us are aware that we will face some serious environmental issues in the next few decades. The list of endangered species is growing all the time. Environmental awareness has been a long time coming. Population growth makes it ever more difficult to preserve the wilderness. In a way we are the victims of our own success.
The first modern environmentalists were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau, but the man who made a deep and practical impact was a Scot named John Muir. He is known as the father of America's national parks.
The most misunderstood of all animals is the wolf. They have been subject of much fear, hatred and mis-information and yet, it is the least harmful to people. The wolves have been hunted and persecuted almost to the edge of extinction. I am not sure if you are aware, but there have been no wolves in Britain for 300 years.
In the past, the Vikings had a respect for the strength and sagacity of wolves. We all know the legend of Romulus and Remus, the twins that were found abandoned on the banks of the Tiber and saved by a wolf, who fed them with her milk. Later, Romulus built the city of Rome on the spot where the wolf had found them. Although no evidence to support the story exist, there are plenty of authenticated stories of similar incidents.
In the Anglo-Saxon times January was set aside especially for hunting wolves. It was known as wolfmonat or wolf month. There are children's stories like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, and various tales about werewolves, but in fact there is no authenticated instance of anyone being attacked by a wolf.
Killing wild wolves is supposed to boost the numbers of caribou and moose for the benefit of hunters, but biologists say that the larger prey species elude wolves 97% of the time.
Some of the nation's most prominent biologists have estimated that protecting habitat for wide-ranging predators such as wolves will conserve 90% or more of overall biological diversity. Conservation of wolves can help preserve a host of other species making use of the same habitat. Killing wild wolves is supposed to boost the numbers of caribou and moose for the benefit of hunters, but biologists say that the larger prey species elude wolves 97% of the time.
Richard Fiennes, the distinguished U.K. scientist and biologist has summed up the case for the wolf. According to him, the wolf appears to retain a respect for human beings, and is reluctant to attack them. He points out that there are still enormous regions in the world, in America and Russia for example, where the wolf can be left unmolested and should be.
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