Thursday, April 03, 2008

Grey Wolf

What a beautiful animal. With wolf populations on the rise there are groups that want to start hunting them. From the Christian Science Monitor.

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Wolves were hunted and killed with more passion than any other animal in US history," according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. As the gray wolf makes a comeback, so does that passion, and with it the need to balance human life with wildlife.

Wolves – predators that play a critical role in the food chain – used to roam widely in America's contiguous states. An estimated 350,000 of them preyed on deer, elk, bison and other animals before the time of Lewis and Clark. But as wolves turned more to livestock, ranchers hit back. By the 1930s, the US government had helped eradicate wolves from more than 95 percent of their former range.

But after receiving protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, gray wolves pawed their way back – this time through the help of a US recovery plan. They're still in trouble in the Southwest. But recently, they were removed from the endangered species list in the western Great Lakes region when they reached a population of 4,000. Last week, they were delisted in three Rocky Mountain states, where they number about 1,500 on mostly federal lands.

But the Rocky Mountain delisting gravely worries many environmentalists. They fear "hostile" laws in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming – where ranchers are not happy with the wolf resurgence. Those laws allow killing that could whittle down the canid population to its federally set minimum of 300 for the region.

1 comment:

Daryl L. Hunter said...

Managing our wildlands is a balancing act, the wolf population needs balance also.