Wolves Face Threat of Removal from Endangered Species Act

They’ve been shot at from the air, chased down on land, trapped and poisoned. They’ve fled to higher ground to escape human beings and still continue to survive. Waiting, possibly, for people to understand their place on this earth, the wolf was at last given protection under the Endangered Species Act.

But last month proposals placed the wolf in danger of being exempt from federal protections. Pushed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and governors from three Northern Rockies states, bills were proposed in Congress that open season on the wolf again.

This is the first time in the 40 years of the Act that Congress has been asked to exempt an animal from the Endangered Species Act, a precedent that could severely undermine the Act. It comes after several court orders struck down other plans by Salazar to remove wolves from protections.

Salazar is targeting the northern Rockies and Great Lakes wolves, but bills already introduced would strip protection from the Mexican gray wolf whose population is down to just 42 wild wolves and two breeding pairs.

“If they were stripped of protection altogether, there’s no doubt the Mexican gray wolf would go extinct,” said Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center has defended gray wolves for more than two decades, first suing the federal government to get the wolves out of the zoo and into the wild.

The Center notified the Interior Department in December that it will sue the agency unless the government crafts a plan to bring back wolves throughout their North American range.

An estimated 6,000 wolves live in the lower 48 states. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, saying the more than 1,700 wolves in the Northern Rockies, were harming game herds and livestock. Pushing a Senate vote on a bill to strip wolves nationwide of federal protections, Crapo was backed by Republicans in Wyoming and Utah. Democratic objections stopped the bill.

Maryland Democrat Sen. Benjamin Cardin said the bill is an attempt “to solve politically what should be done by good science.” When wolves reach young adulthood they sometimes travel hundreds of miles to find new territory. In recent years they gained a presence in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah and northern New England. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is analyzing wolf genetics to learn how populations in different parts of the country relate to one another.

The Center says they benefit an area by stirring up elk and deer which allows vegetation to grow back, increasing songbirds and keeping coyote populations in balance.

“In 2011 we’ll be ramping up efforts to beat back Salazar’s plans and delisting legislation, pushing for a long-overdue nationwide wolf recovery plan, fixing the flagging Mexican wolf recovery program and stopping the killing of wolves in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes,” the Center states.

At least two bills would remove protections from wolves nationwide. Or wolves could lose protection in only Montana and Idaho where both states seek to drastically reduce wolf populations. Depending on the bill, wolves could lose protections in all of the northern Rockies. In Wyoming they would be shot on sight in 90 percent of the state.

Wildlife advocate efforts are trying to head off the bills in Congress, saying this politicizes an animal’s existence with no sound scientific backing.

STAND UP FOR WOLVES

Send letters to tell President Obama and your elected officials to protect wolves and ensure the integrity of the Endangered Species Act. Don’t let them exempt our wolves from protection.

Sign the Defenders of Wildlife’s petition to protect wolves and the Endangered Species Act.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

139 comments

Janine H.
Janine H5 years ago

This is a very sad story. Other animals and plants have to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten." (Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

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colleen prinssen
colleen p5 years ago

sometimes wolves are better than us, like other animals. while we breed cows, to steal her milk and make her baby into veal. some wild animals kill pregnant animals, and eat the fetus and move on.

we can learn a lot from animals
wild, defenceless animals who have no weapons, who sometimes start eating prey while it still alive.
not after they chase it into exhaustion.
if it gets away, it gets away. unlike humans who snipe for meat.

shame on people for trying to kill it dead. at least we throw those male chicks into the turbine while they are alive. a noble wild animal would eat it alive.

and to live in a world where ma and pa eat first. like the olden days.

if wolf numbers get to high and they eat all their food, they move out and eat more.

if we cannot hunt a type of prey, that prey has a poplation boon(or boom?) but if we both are hunting the same thing we compete. the only differance here, and not 600 years ago is we have the option of "vegan pizza" or "elk"

wolves still carry parasites

everyone blames faeiry tails on wolf hate. but in turn, they adopt their own fairy tales. in which wolves are "noble savages", or some godly figure. that if you love wolves enough, and fight to save them, karma will whisper it in their ears, and in turn they will save you!

just view wolf as an animal, and environment a machine, how nuts, bolts and gears make something work. if your screws need to attach to something you get that. if your gears are rusty replace th

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roland north
Roland north5 years ago

wild animals are meant to be wild,they kill to survive usually,but man kills for fun/sport.but he doesn't like it when the tables are turned on him though....what does he expect??

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Regina P.
Regina P6 years ago

If you are unhappy with the wolves move out of their area, they were here before any of us. People invade the land of our precious creatures, then expect a violin played if something happens.

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Very bad precedent if they are removed -- who will be next?
Wolves have a very bad rap, and untrue. We need all parts of the food chain for the ecosystem to work.

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Charlotte Vardan
Charlotte Vardan6 years ago

Kay T, wolves are not evil. Humans are the evil ones for destroying and slaughtering everything left and right. You need to educate yourself about wolves. They're only trying to defend their territory and their young just like you are. I understand you have a problem with them 'cause they're right outside your door. But there's a solution to that which doesn't involve killing them...use a dart gun to knock them out then have the Humane Society locate them somewhere far away from your house. I think you kill them 'cause you enjoy being a sadist. Period.

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marizela m.
marizela m.6 years ago

HEY KAY T IF YOU EVER GET ON AGAIN I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT DISAGREE WITH YOU AND ALSO I THINK YOUR STUPID AND UR REALLY IDIOTIC CAUSSE IM EAN OVIOUSLY A NITWITT LIKE YOUR SELF DOESNT HAVE COMPASSION WOLVES ARE AWQESOM JUST CAUSE YOU DISLIKE WOLVES AND THINK THEYRE DANGEROUS THEYRE NOT OK GOT IT EVERYONE HAS A MISCONCEPTION ABOUT THEM THEYRE NOT RUTHLESS DID YOU EVER COME TO THINK THAT MAYBE THEY DONT LIKE YOU HUH HUH DID YOU EVER THINK THAT THESE POOR ANIMALS ARE JUST TRYING TO LIVE IN PEACE ANS RAISE THEYRE PUPS AND HAVE A NORMAL LIFE YOU KNOE ITS SUCH A DISGRACE THAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU HAVE POWER BECAUSE YOU AC TUALLY REMIND ME OF Ken Salazar HES A JERK AND SO ARE YOU GOT GOOD SRRY IM BEING DEFENSIVE BUT I LOVE WOLVES AND IM AGAINST ANIMal CRUELTY OH AND BY THE WAY VIOLENCE ISNT THE SOLUTION ITS WOLVES NATURAL INSTINCT TI KILL BECAUSE THEY NEED TO EAT WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT HEY THEY MUST EAT MUSHROOMS AND MARSHMELLOWS OMG DUH OF COURSE THEY HUNT OTHER ANIMALS I DONT KNOW IF YOU HAVE HEARD OF IT ITS CALLED THE WAY OF LIFE .

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Kelli A.
Kelli A.6 years ago

Wolves are beautiful creatures, and so smart too! We need to recognize that the world is not ours for the taking, that we need these other species to keep balance within our environment. Thanks for bringing this to light! This is truly a problem for our environment and the species that we share this world with. A fiction novel, written by Four Arrows, called "Last Song of the Whales" shows how deeply humans and animals share this world, and that it is our responsibility to protect the planet. It is about the connection that a man has with a whale that takes him out to sea in his mouth, and shows him the death and destruction that humans and pollution are having on all of the species of the ocean. Please read this fascinating novel! You can buy it for only $16.95 on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Song-Whales-Four-Arrows/dp/0984555250/ref=si_aps_sup?ie=UTF8&qid=1293576451&sr=8-1

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Kay T.
Kay T.6 years ago

Sorry, Wolves are a blight. They need to be culled. I can not leave my house without a gun. My dogs and kids are not safe. We have lost our elk and deer herds.

I will kill them to defend my kids, myself, my wildlife and my dogs. They are nasty, evil thrill killers. And they don't have a cute, majestic hair on them. Ticks and mange is about all there is.

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Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks.

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