EcoJournal: Management of Wolves

Wolf conservation has reached a crossroad.  Recently removed from the Endangered Species List in Idaho and Montana due to pressures from ranchers (who often use public lands to graze livestock), the wolf hunt is on.  The wolf, canis lupus, was, and still is, threatened with extinction in the continental U.S.  In 1985, after being placed on the Endangered Species List, and with re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, an organized effort was made to restore populations and conduct research, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.  This effort succeeded in raising numbers to a level that approached genetic viability.  As of 2009, populations in Idaho, Montana,and Wyoming had reached approximately 1,600 wolves, but many scientists consider this to fall short of a genetically healthy number.  Wolf management must be conducted in a mindful and humane manner.  Leaving this management in the hands of states creates conflicts of interest, and fragments the wolf populations.

The following organizations are involved in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking to reverse the decision to de-list the Northern Rockies Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species Act:

Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project

Human intervention CAN be beneficial for species on the planet, but much depends upon propaganda, economics, and the current political climate.  Since wolves cannot speak for themselves, we, as articulate individuals, have the power to advocate in their behalf.  Although we will never know the wolf’s perspective first-hand, we can be sure they desire the basic rights of life: safe habitat, food, water, shelter, and freedom.


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