Yellowstone: the return of the wolf

14 June 2011 | Video

Many of us carry childhood memories of the ravening wolf that haunted us through fairy tales and often, hearing a wolf's howl still sends a shiver down our spines. But after so many years of conflict between man and this enigmatic species, the time has come to finally say: ‘maybe they’re not so bad’? Wolves are now being successfully reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and are an important part of the natural system once again.

Yellowstone is the world's oldest national park and one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wolves were well established here when the park was created back in 1872. But people have since been at odds with them over agriculture and hunting, and almost eliminated them from the park. It was only in the 1990s that efforts to bring the wolf back to Yellowstone began.

Now, after a 70 year absence, the wolf has returned to the park thanks to a successful reintroduction programme, which involved IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas. This film shows the impact that this has had on the park’s biodiversity and explains how the reintroduction of wolves became part of a large-scale conservation effort for the area.