While writing "The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds" and "The Rings of Faolan-Rubies," it surprised and saddened me to learn the Irish grey wolf, Canis Lupis, no longer roamed the island. By the early 1800's, and before English rule in the country, the wolf was hunted by the upper class until extinct.
Wolves are an integral part of any ecosystem. The re-introduction of a top predator, what was perhaps Ireland’s top predator, into an area would have many benefits. Predators affect not just prey species, but the entire balance of an ecosystem right down the food chain. This natural phenomenon, known as trophic cascade, impacts everything from the immediate prey species right down to the primary producers in the ecosystem. A classic example of a terrestrial trophic cascade is the reintroduction of grey wolves to Yellowstone National Park, which reduced the number, and changed the behavior, of elk.
In 2016, plans were underway for the wolf to be reintroduced into Killarney National Park. Two males and five females will be released along with plans for at least thirty more. This is exciting news for all wolf lovers including myself!
For more information check out this site: http://wildirelandtour.ie/wolves/.