Some twenty years ago, the Endangered Species Act began protecting gray wolves in the United states. The animals had been poisoned to near extinction and the U.S. government took swift action to protect the animals. The wolves began making a recovery. Currently, at least 1,700 wolves inhabitat Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have a population of more than 4,000 gray wolves. Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah and the New England states are seeing a rise in wolf populations as well. Recent court actions have set the gray wolf as an endangered species in every state in America with the exception of Alaska and Minnesota.
That should be good news, right? One would think. The purpose of protecting an animal under the Endangered Species Act is to protect the animals on the list from being slaughtered. However, the gray wolf is finding themselves in the sites again and the government is looking through the sites.
Government agencies are seeking authority to conduct "conservation" and "research" hunts, gas pups in their dens and surgically sterilize adult wolves. Officials claim that the hunts and public wolf hunting is a necessity to prevent packs of wolves from forming and causing problems. The most shocking of all the governments proposals is to bury wolf pups in their dens and poison them with carbon monoxide gas. They say this method would be used only when the rest of the pack has already been killed. Idaho has proposed one method of controlling wolves by surgically sterilizing them then tagging the wolves to monitor them.
Hunts have already been held in Idaho and Montana in 2009. A court ruling in August of this year nixed plans for a hunt for this year. The usual method of controlling problem wolves is shooting them from the air or ground.
Democratic Senator Max Bacus from Montana wants ranchers in his state to have the freedom to shoot and kill wolves harassing their livestock. Montana and Idaho want to re-instate wolf hunting seasons giving them more politically correct and less-barbaric sounding names such as "conservation hunting" or "researching hunting".
The Center for Biological Diversity is none too happy about the plans to kill the wolves. They feel that recent court rulings underscore the importance of protecting the wolves.
You can read much more about this situation here. For more information on the Center for Biological Diversity, including any current actions they have may have underway to help protect the wolves, you can visit their website: Center for Biological Diversity.