Status:Overpopulation has been a problem with white-tailed deer. When there are too many deer, starvation weakens the entire population. Generally when this happens, predators such as the bobcat will attack the weakest deer and the population strengthened. Unfortunately, there are not enough predators in many ecosystems in North America. Deer have adapted to human interference, but predators were hunted down starting when the European settlers came to America. Today many states regulate hunting to strengthen the deer population and prevent overpopulation.
Status:Because the hare reproduces quickly, population densities can range from 1 to 10,000 hares per square mile. They are used as a main source of meat for many predators including the bobcat and lynx. These predators strengthen the population by preventing overpopulation, which can destroy vegetation and cause starvation in not only hares, but other animals such as deer as well. When the predators are not there, the population may be more prone to disease and starvation.
Status:There is a large market in parts of Asia for its horn, which is prized as a medicine. Because of this market 4 of the 5 rhinoceros species are at a point of extinction. Some black rhinos are protected 24 hours a day by an officer armed with a gun.
Height:30-170 cm. Weight:585-825 lb. Length:5-6 ft. Life Span:40-50 yrs. Gestation:7 mo. Litter size:1 Status:Like the elephant, the hippo has been hunted for their ivory. The hippo is listed as threatened.
Status:Nearly extinct only a few decades ago, the red wolf has begun to recover with the help of captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In 1967 the red wolf was listed as an endangered species. Then in 1973 the wolfs were captured and established into breeding programs. By 1980 the red wolf was considered extinct in the wild. There were only 14 red wolves left and they were all in captivity. Then as the number of red wolves increased more were let free into the wild. There are now 270-300 red wolves. Facilities continue to breed and release red wolves making the population higher
Status:The power and stealth of the wolf has been awed by the Native Americans and Eskimos, feared by the European settlers. When the Europeans came to America, the parents often told their children that if they were not good than the big, bad wolf would come and get them. Those stories carried onto future generations, and wolves were killed whenever possible. Today wolves are just starting to make a comeback in the United States due to wonderful reintroduction programs. Yellowstone National Park has been reintroducing wolves since 1994. By 2002 the wolf will be living on its own and will no longer be considered a threatened species. Most of the wolf populations today are in the very remote areas of the earth like most of Canada and Alaska, and small isolated sections of the lower 48 states of the US and in eastern Europe.
Status:Over hunting brought a huge decline in polar bears all throughout the northern hemisphere. In 1967 a conservation treaty was passed to save the bears. Today the population is relatively stable with a worldwide population of 20,000-40,000 bears. The largest population of polar bears resides in Canada with a population of about 15,000.