Could it be true? Just two decades after the gray wolf battled back from near extinction in the U.S., government officials have announced plans to remove gray wolves from the Norther Rockies and Great Lakes regions.
The procedures used would include gassing pups in their dens, opening hunting season on packs, surgically sterilizing adult wolves, and even hunting them from helicopters (for which Sarah Palin took much heat during the Presidental Election)
The gray wolf is on the Endangered Species List, entitled to protection under the ESA. In fact, a pair of federal court rulings just restored the species’ endangered status across the United States, in every state but Alaska and Minnesota.
What is going on? How is this possible?
Its the classic conflict of man vs. beast. As wolf populations have rebounded from near extinction (due to massive poisoning of the creatures by man) and their habitat ranges have shrunk, more animals are competing for fewer resources. In particular, wolves have been threatening livestock and herds of big-game animals to which hunters would rather lay claim.
While some wildlife officials say the measures are necessary to “restore balance,” others decry the brutal practices that would be allowed under the plan to remove gray wolves from the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.
Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity stated:
“The draconian lengths they are posed to take really are a throwback, to when the same agency was gassing wolf pups in their dens almost a century ago, and setting poisoned baits and trapping them.”
So what are the real facts concerning the gray wolf?
Consider these points:
- Only 1,700 gray wolves roam the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
- In Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, numbers are estimated at around 4,000 animals
- Government statistics confirm that wolves kill fewer sheep and cattle than coyotes, bears, mountain lions and domestic dogs!
- More humane methods of controlling wolf populations include relocating problem animals and fencing livestock
Currently, approval has not yet been given to allow the expanded killing and gray wolf removal from the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes.
If you want to make your voice heard on this important issue, consider writing to your State Representative asking them to stop the wolf killings. You can also join organizations such as the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and/or the World Wildlife Fund. Each has unique efforts devoted to preserving the gray wolf!
What do you think about the proposal to expand killing of gray wolves? Make your voice heard here, too!