Gray Wolf Survival Depends on the Endangered Species Act

Written by Mitch Merry, digital director at Endangered Species Coalition

The Endangered Species Act is among the world’s most valuable and successful tools to fight extinction and conserve imperiled species. Its safeguards have prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species in its care. The law works. But it only works when we let it– and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is hindering that law’s ability to recover gray wolves.

Our ancestors drove wolves to near extinction in the early-to-mid twentieth century. As the American West was expanded and developed, wolves paid a terrible price. Government-funded extermination programs encouraged their widescale killing by trapping, hunting or using poisoned baits. Where there were once tens-of-thousands of gray wolves, today the howl has gone silent.

The protections of the Endangered Species Act have brought wolves back to the Northern Rockies and parts of the Western Great Lakes. While that recovery is a remarkable accomplishment that is worth celebrating, there is a lot of work left to be done before we declare gray wolves to be “recovered.”

Today, wolves occupy just a fraction of their historic range and number just 5,000 from coast-to-coast. In spite of the obviously unfinished state of recovery, the Trump Administration is proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protections from virtually all gray wolves across the lower-48. Only a small population of Mexican gray wolves (lobos) which are listed separately under the Endangered Species Act would remain protected under this plan.

If the Trump Administration’s Endangered Species Act delisting proceeds, states would be free to set hunting or trapping seasons on gray wolves in Great Lakes states and beyond. We know this would be a death sentence for thousands of wolves. Before gray wolves were placed back onto the endangered species list, the state of Wisconsin aggressively managed the wolves in its borders causing a nearly 20 percent population decline in just one year.

It is important that existing and healthy populations of wolves be protected in order for wolves to disperse from these packs into neighboring states and beyond. The wolf known as OR-7 or “Journey,” famously wandered more than 1,000 miles from Oregon into California, becoming the first known wolf in the Golden State since 1924. This is how wolves will come back to areas where they have yet to recover.

Photo Credit: Olga Gladysheva/Endangered Species Coalition

Photo Credit: Olga Gladysheva/Endangered Species Coalition

There is ample, suitable habitat for wolves in the Southern Rockies, California, the Pacific Northwest and across the Northeast. Gray wolves can return to these landscapes and restore the howl — but only if we protect them on their journey.

This May, Care2 is launching a campaign to protect endangered species. Join us to save these real-life fantastic beasts! 

Take Action!

Please add your name to this Care2 petition before the May 14 deadline, and tell the Trump Administration to keep gray wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

32 comments

Mia B
Marta Babout a month ago

signed

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Leo C
Leo Cabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Anna R
Anna Rabout a month ago

Signed

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Sherri S
Sherri Sabout a month ago

Petition signed. Keep the Gray Wolf protected under the ESA.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohnabout a month ago

Signed

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Debbi W
Debbi Wabout a month ago

Petition signed.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer Habout a month ago

Between the Rump and the USFWdis-S the environment and wildlife has no chance at survival. Theycare only for their pocketbooks.

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Diane P
Diane Pabout a month ago

Captain Bone Spurs is only worried about protecting himself! He cares noting for wildlife, the environment or the American people!

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JinnySITEISSUES L
JinnySITEISSUES Labout a month ago

And the priority of the Trump administration is to "protect" Putin and Kim Jong-un and himself....nothing else matters.

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JinnySITEISSUES L
JinnySITEISSUES Labout a month ago

We are morally obligated to protect these magnificent creatures. Of course the Trump administration lacks morals unfortunately. So it's basically up to us to fight for their survival. Petition signed previously and thank you for sharing.

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