Target: Judge Beryl A. Howell, United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Goal: Applaud the return of Great Lakes wolves to the endangered species list
Endangered species status has been returned to Great Lakes wolves by a federal judge. Their protected status was taken away in 2012 by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which claimed that populations had recovered enough to allow wolf hunting once again. While wolf populations have rebounded in a few states including Minnesota and Wisconsin, healthy populations have yet to establish themselves in many of the other Great Lakes states.
Grey wolves inhabited much of the United States at one point, but habitat loss, hunting, and loss of prey has severely impacted their numbers. By 1930, most were gone from the Western states, and by the 1960’s Minnesota and Michigan were home to the last remaining wolves. Since then, they have been labeled an endangered species, making it illegal to kill the animals unless a human’s life is in danger.
Federal protection allowed populations to recover far better than expected in some states, while other states saw negligible changes. Since the grey wolf was taken off the protected species list in 2012, almost 1,500 have been shot or trapped, with some states exceeding their sustainable hunting target numbers.
Prematurely removing protected status could negate the decades of progress made toward improving wolf numbers. As wolves are territorial, large populations in some states will lead to new packs branching out to establish healthy populations in neighboring states. Sign the petition below to thank the judge for returning protected status to Great Lakes wolves, which will ensure that previous and current conservation efforts meet maximum efficacy.
Dear Honorable Beryl A. Howell,
Wolves in nine Great Lakes states have been placed under federal protection once again. After being protected for three and a half decades, a recovery in a few states prompted their removal from the endangered species list, allowing hunters and livestock owners to kill them once again. Since their protections have been revoked, an estimated 1500 wolves have been killed.
Despite healthy populations in a few states, it is necessary that wolves remain protected in order for populations to spill over into other states. Revoking protected status at such a crucial time could negate millions of dollars and decades of time spent on conservation efforts. I applaud your ruling, which will give Great Lakes wolves a better chance at recovery.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mariomassone via Creative Commons