7.17.2008

wolf slaughter escalates in the u.s.

Last time I blogged about wolves, it was 30 days after the US de-listed wolves from the Endangered Species Act, stripping them of protection from needless slaughter. At that time, 37 wolves had been killed.

Now it has been 118 days, and 106 wolves have been killed.

If the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have their way, at least 900 wolves - nearly 60 percent of the population - could be exterminated this fall, when a massive public hunt would begin.

Wolves were nearly exterminated in the US in the 19th Century, and Canada joined the killing spree in the 20th. It's taken decades of public education and concerted wildlife management to bring them back to anything resembling healthy numbers.

Now decades of work has been erased. The wolves are being erased.

This is heartbreaking to me, and sickening.

The NRDC has a petition drive going. I don't know if anyone is listening, but it certainly can't hurt. This group has had a lot of success in court and with Congress. They're very politically savvy and in order for a campaign to be effective, they do need to show popular support. A little international support from the Yellowstone wolves' North American neighbours can't hurt either.

Wolves are highly intelligent, social animals. They need certain numbers of their own kind to survive. If the alpha wolves don't mature and form families (known as packs), they can't reproduce, and their population will dwindle even faster than humans can kill them.

Wolves are, of course, no threat to human population or livelihood. That the irrational and unfounded hatred of wolves persists into the 21st Century is almost beyond belief.

Click on the category "animals (other than dogs)" for some photos of these magnificent creatures. And please sign the petition.

6 comments:

Dharma Seeker said...

That makes my heart ache. I actually have a photo at my desk from the February 22 Torstar showing a pack of wolves circling a bison at Yellowstone National Park. If only people realized that given a choice, neither wolves nor coyotes would ever set eyes on a human being. They certainly aren't a threat to us. What a sad, sadistic, destructive species we can be sometimes. Ruining the planet, one ecosystem at a time...

thefinalhalo said...

While it's not nearly on the same scale, I see the same thing happening to coyotes near where I live.

I live on a farm and my uncles are still using coyotes for target practice when they're hunting deer or turkeys. This is a fairly common practice among the hunting community.

While coyotes are considerably more prevalent than wolves in North America, every year I have seen less and less here in the midwest.

It's simply killing for killing's sake. There is no sport to it. I'm just happy my dad doesn't participate in it anymore.

L-girl said...

DS, I feel the same way. I even have the same photo! :)

TFH, that is so awful - disgusting.

You're right, coyotes are under pressure, too. The species has an advantage over wolves in that they are solo hunters, also expert scavengers, and they can adapt to almost any environment. That does little good for the ones that are killed, of course, but their survival as a species is not threatened.

Wolves need the pack, and they need land on which to hunt.

Geekwad said...

It disturbs me that, apparently, there are a lot of law-abiding people out there who were just waiting for the law to change and allow them to maim and kill animals. I wonder if they'd hunt humans if we changed the law to allow it. I don't doubt it.

L-girl said...

there are a lot of law-abiding people out there who were just waiting for the law to change and allow them to maim and kill animals.

Scary, isn't it? I agree. If human murder was legal, much of the population would enjoy it.

impudent strumpet said...

Needs more puppies.