Threats to Wolves

Varieties of Wolves
Wolf Habitats
Physical Characteristics
Threats to Wolves
Wolf Conservation

As a successful carnivore, there is little that could threaten a wolf at all. There is one thing, however, that has driven several species of wolf to the brink of extinction, if not pushing them over. That thing is humans.

As people advanced they developed technology. They began to build houses, and to cultivate the land. This forced wolves out of their natural homes, and scared off many of the animals that served as food. This forced wolves to eat the cattle people were beginning raise, and as such people began to view wolves as nuisences and threats. They would try to drive off the wolves, fighting and killing them whenever possible.

Eventualy, people developed guns. Wolves learned to fear people, and began vanishing from sight. In populated areas wolves are now only seen at night, and only by people who know where and how to look for them. In particuarly crowded areas they vanished entirely, killed or driven off by the people living there. Several subspecies were driven to extinction, including the Jappanese Hokaido wolf. By the 17th century all wolves in Britain had been killed off. Those left in Italy were in isolated areas, rarely seen even by hunters. The only areas where wolves remained plentiful were those with a distinct lack of people, such as the wilderness of Russia.

In modern times the same threats plague wolves. Humanity fears the wolf as much as the wolf fears humanity. Stories like Little Red Riding Hood give people an early, subconcious fear of the wolf. When people hear of wolves killed they often think of it as a good thing, as it means less threats to them. Hunters are hired to kill wolves that get seen too close to human settlements, and sometimes even go looking for wolves of their own accord. Poisons are used to kill wolves, and as there are no survivors the wolves do not learn to fear it.

Even when not being activaly hunted, the wolf is in danger from the presence of humans. They need large areas in which to hunt and live, and the presence of humans often forces them into areas which are far too small for their needs.