Recent news broke out recently that Trump Administration announced they are planning to remove gray wolves from Endangered Species Act Protection across the Lower 48 states. The move immediately condemned by conservation groups. Advocates like Wolvestuff started a petition as the response for this matter. One of its active followers, Len Harris has started the initiative called, “We the people ask the Administration to put all Wolves on the Endangered Species list.”
Only when the last tree has died and the last river had been poisoned and the last fish had been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
– Cree Indian Proverb
Why the Trump Administration had taken this action and what does this mean for our wolves? Let’s take the details through.
Gray Wolves’ Habitat and Range in Continental U.S.
There are estimated two million gray wolves roaming in North America continent but were exterminated during 1930s where wolf killing significantly reduced the U.S. Gray Wolf population to parts of Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The reintroduction of gray wolves at Yellowstone National Park in 1995 significantly helped not only the park’s ecosystem back to its feet even its physical geography.
Why People Love Wolves?
Wolves have a lot of significance in different cultures. For Native Americans, wolves are seen as an animal of power. Many tribes are crediting the Earth’s actual creator as a wolf. Biologically, wolves are considered as apex predators, they created trophic cascades of benefits in ecosystem they inhabit. Yellowstone National Park’s resurrection was not possible with the help of these magnificent creatures. Not only did wolves stave off mass overpopulation by healthy elk predation, they also reinforced the elk gene pool by removing old, weak, and/or crippled individuals, allowing the remaining herds to browse without risk of hunger.
Why People Don’t Like Wolves?
People began to compete with wolves for game and habitat as the human population grew. Wolves were seen as pests and vermin, and the thousands slaughtered them. As a result, from the lower 48 states, wolves almost disappeared. Gray wolves are making a comeback in parts of the U.S. today, but for these majestic animals, many challenges prevent a full recovery. Where wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the most common cause of wolves’ death is conflict over livestock loss with people. While wolf predation on livestock is quite rare, wolves suspected of cattle prey are often killed, sometimes even entire packs. Where the federal Endangered Species Act does not protect them, hunting and trapping is the most common cause of death for wolves.
Why the Government Wants to Remove Wolves from ESA?
Politics. In red states, politicians see a delisting wolf as a way of appealing to their rural audiences. Any politician who takes money from the farming or oil and gas industries is under pressure to remove the species ‘ protections. Of course, the ESA is intended to rehabilitate endangered species populations, so it contains a mechanism to remove its protections from a species once it has reached a predetermined level. Ensuring the maintenance of this function can also remove political threats to the ESA itself.
Can Human and Wolves Co-Exist?
Despite the rhetoric of big industry lobbying dollars, hunting, trapping, or poisoning wolves has actually been shown to increase their livestock predation, increasing conflict with independent ranchers. Wolves live in complex social systems that the loss of an individual member can throw into disarray. Look at a wolf pack as a single entity, rather than a group of individual animals, and that pack behaves effectively as an injured animal that is unable to successfully chase its natural prey if it loses to a hunter a significant individual or individual. This is often the reason why a pack turns to an unnatural source of food: livestock. People who like wolves argue that employing non – lethal deterrents such as animal guardian dogs, range riders, or even flags, balloons, or inflatable bendy men is much more effective in helping to reinforce in wolves that they have no business entering men’s territory. And wolves bring advantages to us beyond just taking care of ecosystem management. For example, in Yellowstone, wolf – related tourism brings the local economy $ 35 million a year.
What You Can Do to Save The Wolves?
Although David Bernhardt expressed his intention to remove wolves from ESA, before moving forward, the plan must remain open to public comment. You should give your opinion to your government when that happens. If you feel strongly about wolf protection, then you can also donate to organizations such as the Biological Diversity Center, which will challenge the measure in court. You can raise awareness for saving the wolves as well in change.org or visit Wolvestuff.com and help us save these respectable and iconic creatures. Small step starts with you.