As reported by officials at the United States Department of Interior Wed, the Gray Wolf no longer needs protection. It will be removed from the Endangered Species List. Source of article: Gray Wolves taken off Endangered Species List
Just how long have they been on the list?
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service have invested tens of millions of dollars trying to shield wolves and help them survive for the last four decades. This protection has been done in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and other states. As reported by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:
“Once again, the Endangered Species Act has proved to be an effective tool for bringing species back from the brink of extinction. Thanks to the work of our scientists, wildlife managers, and our state, tribal, and stakeholder partners, gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are now fully recovered and healthy.”
Original endangered goals
The number of gray wolves in the United States has grown five times since they were put on the Endangered Species List in 1974. With over 4,000 wolves in the monitored states, there are more than enough to obtain them off of the list. Five western states have had the wolves delisted recently too. The formal delisting will not take place until Jan while the population will still be monitored for a few more years.
The hunting of wolves
The lifted protection could pave the way for wolf hunting seasons, to be regulated state by state. The hunting of wolves by ranchers safeguarding their livestock depleted the wolf population substantially in the past.
With the lifting of restrictions, it is now legal to kill and trap wolves in Montana and Idaho. Local officials are seeking to lower their numbers to minimize attacks on elk herds and farm animals from the predators. Several fear this trend may lead to a repeat of the past as wolf packs dwindle.
Collette Adkins Giese of the Center for Biological Diversity said:
“Wolf recovery in the Midwest has been a tremendous success, but the job is far from complete. The three Great Lakes states with wolves all plan to kill more wolves and to reduce populations through hunts and other means. Wolves remain threatened by human intolerance and persecution. More should be done to help people live with wolves and increase tolerance before protections are removed.”
Wolves in new areas
Some would like to see the wolves caught and relocated to areas where they can thrive and not be hunted. Wide unpopulated regions in the Rockies and the Northwest are ideal places for the wolves, some say.
Ed Bangs used to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve as a biologist. He said:
“Wolves, next to people, are one of the most adaptable animals in the world. The key with wolves is it’s all about human tolerance.”