Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Protect wolves from hunting and trapping by keeping them on the Endangered Species List.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove endangered species protections from all grey wolves in the lower 48 states. Wolves have been an endangered species for several years and there are currently about 6,000 grey wolves in the U.S. The Fish and Wildlife Service says that the threat of extinction has been eliminated, so has proposed to take all grey wolves off of the Endangered Species List, minus one struggling subspecies, the Mexican grey wolf, found in the Southwestern U.S. They say the wolves’ populations have bounced back into healthy limits, even exceeding recovery goals. Their proposal to delist the wolves involves putting wolf management into the hands of the individual states instead of the Fish and Wildlife Service. There is worry that wolves’ management would be more subject to political pressure by hunting groups and ranchers under the new plan.
Many biologists and critics say the move to de-list wolves is premature. They say to take the grey wolf off the Endangered Species List would encourage hunting and trapping, including the use of inhumane steel-jawed leg hold traps, in which animals may suffer for days before dying or being found. Critics say that the populations are not stable enough to endure aggressive hunting or population management tactics. They worry that it would prevent wolves from recolonizing other parts of their historic range, of which they currently occupy less than 5%. “The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to mitigate the threats against a species; one of the threats to the species has always been human intolerance,” said biologist John Vucetich, who studies wolves at Michigan Technological University. “The Fish and Wildlife Service is using the Endangered Species Act to prescribe the status of wolves rather than mitigate it.” He took issue with the fact that human intolerance was cited in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal as one of the limits to the possibility that gray wolves would recolonize more of their historic range.
The wolves still need protection. Their population is not strong enough to survive being taken off of the Endangered Species List. Wolves need to recolonize their historic territory, not be hunted. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to protect wolves by keeping them on the Endangered Species List.
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Please leave wolves on the Endangered Species List. To take wolves off of the list means that within a few years their populations will dwindle again. Wolves already have been relegated to less than 5% of their historic range due to human interference, and taking them off of the Endangered Species List will cause them to face more and more trouble due to humans.
Please protect wolves from humans who want to hurt them. Wolves are a part of the ecosystem and need to be protected from extinction. Please allow their numbers to continue to grow in peace from hunters and trappers and others who wish them ill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gunnar Ries Amphibol via Wikimedia Commons