Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2020.


Copyright 2020 YouHan Mei


The Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) is a keystone species that have significant impacts on the ecosystem where they belong. They used to have a wide range of habitat across the whole of North America. In 1960, the wolves were treated as threats to the safety of humans and livestock. They were wiped out by the government of the day and only had few populations left in Minnesota and Michigan. Today, there are identified in the “Red List) of International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered species all around the U.S. This shows the urgent need for conservation, recovery, and management of the gray wolf and their habitats. The objectives of this research were to determine the potential habitat and management methods for the gray wolf through researching. The research studied the human impacts, landscape, population of prey, management, and monitoring methods for the gray wolf. This research analyzed the information and data in annual reports from national parks and peer-reviewed articles, finding two potential locations in the United States for potential habitat expansion for Grey Wolves, with one location in the western U.S and the other in the eastern U.S. The west part of the U.S. has lower human impacts, suitable landscape, and enough prey population for the gray wolf to extend their current habitat directly. The eastern part of the U.S. has higher human effects and needs reintroduction since wolves did not survive there for a long time. The successful experience of management and monitoring methods such as the “experimental population” from the national park were analyzed as reference for future action. The found, made and explained the figures and reports helped to answer the research questions. There still are many aspects that need further research in the future. If these processes can have some actual action in the future, the population of the gray wolf can have a noticeable increase and bring benefits to their ecosystem.

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