A wolf pack is a tight cohesive group. They raise their young with great care and cooperation, demonstrating one of the best examples of good parenting in the animal kingdom. To wolves, pups are life, they are everything, they are the future. That future is now clouded.
As the hunts continue I think about the pups that will be orphaned or killed, the packs that will be disrupted, their social order distressed. I know FWP thinks wolves will just make more wolves. Apparently with all their scientists and biologists they don’t seem to understand wolf pack behavior at all. Wolves have distinct personalities, they are not interchangeable. It’s like saying a forest is a just a collection of trees.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES OF DEAD WOLVES
You can’t hunt and kill up to 220 wolves in Idaho, one-fourth of their wolf population and not expect reversal of the positive gains the gray wolf has made in the West since their official reintroduction in 1995. Even though their numbers have increased throughout the Northern Rockies, Yellowstone’s’ wolves suffered a 27% reduction in 2008, mainly due to high pup mortality rates caused by Canine Distemper. It was the first large decline since the gray wolf returned to the park. This demonstrates further wolf populations are susceptible to declines. They are not at recovery levels in the Northern Rockies, yet we are one month into the first federally sanctioned wolf hunt.
If judge Molloy doesn’t restore their ESA protections and the hunts continue next year, the damage will be long-lasting and permanent. That’s why I’m convinced state “management” of the wolf will never be in their best interests (unless they dramatically change their approach) because as imperfect as federal wolf management is, state control has sorely disappointed. To initiate wolf hunts just months after the wolves were stripped of their ESA protection by Ken Salazar, is an outrage. No other animal has been treated this way. In my opinion Idaho and Montana are not “managing” wolves to help wolves, they’re doing it for the benefit of humans. There doesn’t seem to be any concern about the impact the hunts will have on wolves, which, if their true interests were sincerely being guarded, the hunts wouldn’t be happening in the first place. Wolves would be allowed to be wolves. They would continue their dispersal into new territory, eventually repopulating their original home ranges. Wolves inhabit just five percent of their original range, which is why dispersal is so important. That’s all in jeopardy now because the federal government turned the “management” of wolves over to the states, who have proven that by initiating these hunts and treating the wolf as a game animal, they are NOT interested in true wolf recovery.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES OF DEAD WOLVES
“The wolf pups of the Northern Rockies are in grave danger now that the Interior Department has kicked gray wolves off the Endangered Species list. Wolf pups could be killed outright or orphaned with no chance of surviving. Take action at http://www.thebighowl.org”
Please speak up for the wolf. Write President Obama and Ken Salazar to tell them how you feel about wolves losing their ESA protections. Don’t be apathetic, I know people think the voice of one person won’t make a difference but that’s not true. Politicians are influenced by letters, faxes and phone calls. Wolves need our support, they have no voice. If we sit silently by and allow livestock and hunting interests to dominate wolf policy in the West, we’ll be back to square one with a non-existent or fragmented wolf population. That is their ultimate goal and they have the ear of the state governments in Montana and Idaho. We can’t remain silent anymore. Please stand up for wolves!
Defenders of Wildlife:
Categories posted in: gray wolf, wolves under fire, wolf hunt
Tags: gray wolf, wolf pup mortality