Last Chance to Speak Up for Wolves

It was disappointing as it was troubling when an announcement was made earlier this spring that the government is considering stripping gray wolves of federal protection, but their advocates aren’t giving up and are calling us to speak up on their behalf while we still have a chance.

Gray wolves have already faced such heavy persecution that we nearly killed every single one of them by the 1900s with bounty programs, hunting and trapping. Protection that was put in place with the passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 1970s finally helped put them back on the path to recovery, but their journey is far from over and they’re still functionally extinct in vast portions of their historic range.

Now, despite not having a plan in place to ensure their continued survival (which the government is currently facing a lawsuit over), a proposal is now being considered that would strip federal protection from all wolves in the lower 48 – with the exception of Mexican wolves.

If it’s approved, management responsibilities would be handed over to states that have already proven to be hostile to recovery efforts, and would open the door to rampant hunting and trapping. Overall, it will hinder recovery efforts and all but ensure wolves never have the opportunity to expand to portions of their historic range where it’s been determined there’s plenty of suitable habitat for them, including in the Adirondacks, southern Rockies and other areas.

Although wildlife officials are calling their recovery thus far a success, conservation and animal advocacy organizations disagree and are continuing to argue that wolves are far from where they need to be to be considered fully recovered, and that stripping them of protection now will only further threaten their survival.

This week more than 100 scientists signed a letter sent to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt opposing the proposal, stating that the proposal “does not represent the best-available science pertaining to wolf conservation. Delisting wolves at this time would be an inappropriate shortcut … Such intervention can seem like an expedited solution, but its larger effect is to inhibit progress on the broader issues of conservation and ESA implementation.”

“The best available science clearly shows that wolves are not ready to be delisted because the Endangered Species Act requires a species to be recovered throughout a larger portion of its historic range, and this has not been achieved yet,” said wolf biologist John A. Vucetich, professor at Michigan Technological University. “Issues that arise in recovering wolves, such as concern over conflicts between wolves and livestock, are all quite manageable and wolves shouldn’t be delisted because it is a politically expedient solution to these conflicts.”

While a public comment period has been opened, it closes on May 14 and time is running out to speak up on behalf of an incredibly valuable species who was once, and still is, so maligned. Ultimately, the decision to delist wolves should be based on science, not on the whims of special interests that want to see them vanish from the landscape, and the science clearly shows this isn’t the time.

“The vast majority of the American public has shown time and again that they are supportive of wolf conservation and want science to guide wolf recovery,” said Michael Paul Nelson, professor at Oregon State University. “Ignoring science and letting politics guide wolf delisting will set a disastrous precedent for hundreds of other endangered species whose survival is dependent upon the protections provided by the Endangered Species Act.”

TAKE ACTION!

You can help by signing and sharing the petition asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves protected.

Photo credit: Getty Images

101 comments

Olivia H
Olivia Hyesterday

done

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Martha P
Martha P4 days ago

Signed

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Leo C
Leo Custer5 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R5 days ago

No comment :( Petition signed & shared. Thank you.

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Leo C
Leo Custer6 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Richard B
Richard B6 days ago

signed

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Angela K
Angela K6 days ago

Petition already signed & shared

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Coo R
Coo R6 days ago

TY

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Leo Custer
Leo Custer6 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Ruth S
Ruth S6 days ago

Thanks.

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