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106 Wolves Have Been Killed in the Past 118 Days

July 17, 2008 | Wolves

BigNews.Biz

That's nearly one wolf killed every day. And if Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have their way, at least 900 wolves -- nearly 60 percent of the population -- could be exterminated this fall.

Wolves shot and killed

LIVINGSTON, MT (July 17, 2008) - Citing the recent rash of wolf killings in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, conservation groups asked a federal court today to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections, while considering arguments that delisting the wolf was unlawful. The request for a court order to stop the killing was filed with a lawsuit challenging the federal government's wolf delisting decision.

At least 28 wolves have been killed in the three states since the delisting took effect on March 28. The death toll could be even higher since kills are not required to be reported immediately, and 'shoot and bury' tactics mean that some kills might not be reported at all.

"Until now the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies was one of our greatest endangered species success stories," said Louisa Willcox, NRDC Action Fund Wildlife Campaign Director. "Now the region has become a killing field for wolves, just as we predicted."

"Dozens of wolves have been killed already, and more are certain to die under state laws that in many cases allow unregulated wolf killing anywhere, anytime, for any reason," Willcox said.

In their request for a preliminary injunction reinstating Endangered Species Act protections, the Action Fund's partner organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and 11 other groups argued that "the killing of wolves that have been removed unlawfully from the endangered species list is sufficient to demonstrate irreparable harm."

"The killing must stop while the court considers the government's illegal decision to revoke protections in the first place," Willcox said. "The gray wolf simply hasn't recovered yet. Every animal that falls victim to bait or bullet increases the odds that wolves will slide back toward extinction."

Some of the first wolves to be killed since the delisting took effect include:

* Wolf 253M - This eight-year-old celebrity wolf's fans called him "Hoppy" because of his limp (caused by an injury from a fight with another wolf pack). He was shot the day after delisting on an elk feeding ground in Wyoming. This black wolf was one of the most recognizable members of Yellowstone's famous Druid Peak pack. People snapped his photograph and shot video as he and his pack mates played, hunted and snoozed. Later, he became the first wolf to step foot into Utah in over 75 years and established his own pack in Grand Teton National Park.

* The Ashton wolves - These two males were killed on April 1 near Ashton, Idaho. The first was shot within view of the shooter's home near some horses. The second was pursued by the landowner for over a mile on snowmobile. Authorities declined to press charges against the shooter due to "reasonable doubt" as to whether the wolves were "molesting" livestock.

* Wolf B160 - This collared wolf was found shot on April 3 near Clayton, Idaho. His body was still warm when a woman found him about 70 yards from Highway 75. He had been shot through the femur and stomach. (Photos of Wolf B160's carcass are available on NRDC's digital newsroom).

In their challenge to wolf delisting, the groups alleged multiple violations of the Endangered Species Act. They said the death toll confirms arguments that the delisting decision threatens wolf survival. They also said the delisting decision was based on outdated science.

"We understand wolf biology, behavior and genetics much better than when the original wolf recovery goal was developed more than 20 years ago," said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, an NRDC Action Fund scientist. "You and your doctor wouldn't make important health decisions based on outdated research, yet that's exactly what the federal government has done with wolves."

The lawsuit says scientists have determined wolf populations are still too fragmented and a minimum population of 2,000 to 5,000 animals is needed to ensure enough genetic diversity for the animals' long-term survival. At the time of delisting there were about 1,500 wolves in the region. All but 300 could be allowed to be killed under the government's current minimum recovery standard.

The Action Fund's partner group, NRDC, filed a petition in February requesting that the Fish and Wildlife Service establish legitimate targets for recovery of wolves throughout the lower 48 states. In its petition, NRDC demonstrates that the service failed to recover wolves on much of the available public lands where wolves formerly lived, and ignored decades of scientific analysis. Without explanation or any scientific basis, the service set widely different recovery goals in the Midwest, Northern Rockies and Southwest regions.

The reintroduction of wolves by the federal government 12 years ago has been widely hailed as a major success story. It has measurably improved the natural balance in the Northern Rockies and benefited bird, antelope and elk populations, according to the Action Fund. Many thousands of visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park each year to see and hear wolves in the wild, contributing at least $35 million to the local economy each year, the group said.

Thousands of gray wolves roamed the Rocky Mountains before being slaughtered and eliminated from 95 percent of the lower 48 states by the 1930s. The gray wolf was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Reintroduction efforts placed 66 wolves in Yellowstone National Park and part of Idaho in 1995-96.

The lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of NRDC... and others.

As part of its "Call Off the Guns" campaign, the NRDC Action Fund has generated more than 150,000 comments and emails to the Bush administration, urging it to maintain strong protections for the wolves under the Endangered Species Act. The campaign also ran national TV and print ads in an effort to mobilize the public against the government's wolf killing plan

Please write to the governors below to halt wolf persecution and killings. If you are one of these states' residents, or travel frequently to the state, say so; your letter will hold more weight.

Idaho :
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter
P.O. Box 83720
Boise , Idaho 83720
United States
Phone: 208-334-2100
Electronic correspondence

Montana :
Gov. Brian Schweitzer
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801
United States
Phone: 406-444-3111
Fax: 406-444-5529
Electronic correspondence

Wyoming :
Gov. Dave Freudenthal
State Capitol, 200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0010
United States
Phone: 307-777-7434
FAX: 307-632-3909
Electronic correspondence

Comments

I am so ashamed of our government. This decision does disgrace, to the very name of "man" itself.

this is massacre.. what is wrong with these people??!

im disgusted of how cruel people are to kill harmful animals

guess I should clarify the question mark? Its the" Normal" men who have Hearts (are caring individuals and they do not need to kill animals) in order to prove their machoness. Whatever makes them (the others) do it (kill innocent animals) without a feeling of guilt or anything is beyond me!

As said over and over there are animal/wildlife haters and the people who just love to kill them. THATS what its about, the "Thrill to Kill." What sad people they are. I happened to talk to a contractor who said he use to hunt and I told him I have no liking of hunters. He said there are hunters who just love to kill the animals and do it more for a macho thing. Why men need macho things is beyond me. Their big noisy trucks, love of killing animals and loud motorcycles. There are some "normal" men out there don't get me wrong, they HAVE HEARTS! Hunting and killing of innocent animals is a disgrace and cruel! My neighbor shot a woodchuck because she said it was mean. IT WAS MEAN?? They have about 4 acres. I heard the shot and called her on it. She tried to deny it all but I saw the rifle when they were walking in the field. Its people like that that make me cringe. I said I would have trapped it, she said it would come back. WHAT BULL. Perhaps he dug a hole under the shed where the motorcyle was kept!!! It was mean and wrongful!!

now look i am a competeion shooter in NJ, and i am a avid duck/deer/rabbit/and turkey hunter. I also fish... a lot. Now look PETA or whoever else is reading this JUMP TO FREAKING REALITY! Jason is right because a farmer has to do what a farmer has to do. And so what if your vegitarion last time i checked GOD gave us cows to eat. Also in the united states constitution u have the right to hunt/bear arms. DON'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME! It is a American tradition to hunt and i do it because i like it just like my fore fathers. I don't tell you guys how to live your live so don't tell me how to live mine! [Blog editors' note: If you are confusing this site and its supporters with PETA, we'd recommend you do some more studying of this site before you weigh in. You might also read up on "vegan organics" because there are quite a few farmers whose work differs from your impression of farming.]

Ya I understand shooting one if there comming to kill your live stock but going out for miles on snowmobiles and choppers just to look to find them to just kill them is sick [Blog editors' note: Someone's so-called livestock need not be bred into existence. The nature-respecting public should please understand that a vegetarian diet spares animals from a hideous, exploitative industry that can never be fair or decent when the end of the line is a slaughterhouse, needless torment and death. It's wolves, coyotoes, bears, foxes, horses and other indigenous wildlife who should have preference on public lands, not cattle ranchers. Let them grow sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and other plants that can help feed the world and help the environment. ]

Here is the problem with your comments and probably most of the people on this website. You are not from these states you dont know what it is like to live there to raise livestock to live the subsistance life style if something came to where you live and took away your source of food way to make a living what would your stance be. here is a book for you to read (The view from this side of the mountains) the wolf situation exposed by alan dick oh and they dont just take out the weak animals

That is purely sick. How on earth could someone do that to an innocent animal. I mean sure, some people are enraged that the wolves are killing their livestock, but they need to use their simple one-track-minds for just once and think. Think about the fact that the wolves need to eat, just like us humans. It is not their fault that they get hungry. Instead of being cruel and heartless 'solution' to the 'problem' , why don't they just find a better way to raise their livestock. This is seriously an outrage, if I had my license (which i get in a month) i would drive all the way to each state one by one and i would defend those poor helpless beings. FoA comments: The real solution is respect for all animals including not raisng them for food. Go vegan.

I realize that there is over population, and the need to kill to help prevent disease, but to kill just to kill, makes me sick. God put all animals on earth for a purpose, and I don't believe it was for heartless slaughtering. I feel anyone who can kill an animal and walk away proud, is sick and more then likely be capable of doing the same to a human being. I hate it, I feel sick to think that so many of Gods creations are becoming endangered species, and could be wiped out and gone forever. This is part of whats wrong with our world as we know it today, it scares me to think what it is going to be like 10 to 20 years from now. GOD HELP US

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