On January 4th, gray wolves lost federal Endangered Species Act protections. The reckless decision by the Trump administration applies to all gray wolves in the lower 48 states despite the lack of scientific evidence showing true recovery across gray wolves’ historic range. WildEarth Guardians and our partners are currently working on our legal challenge, which will be filed later this month. For now, management of wolf populations has returned to individual state wildlife agencies, some of which are already reinstating hunting and trapping season on wolves.
Tragically, the state of Idaho offers a graphic example of what state “management” of wolves may look like across the American West. Wolves in Idaho lost federal Endangered Species Act protections in 2011 and today an individual may kill up to 30 wolves per year in Idaho. According to an analysis of records obtained by Western Watersheds Project, hunters, trappers, and state and federal agencies killed 570 wolves in Idaho during a 12-month period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Included in the mortality are at least 35 wolf pups, some weighing less than 16 pounds and likely only 4 to 6 weeks old. Some of the wolves shattered teeth trying to bite their way out of traps, others died of hyperthermia in traps set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, and more were gunned down in aerial control actions. The total mortality during this period represented nearly 60 percent of the 2019 year-end estimated Idaho wolf population.
The recovery of gray wolves could be a heroic success story, but it will be cut short if this stripping away of federal Endangered Species Act protection stands. We can’t abandon fragile wolf-recovery efforts and allow anti-wolf states, hunters, and trappers to push these iconic species back to the brink of extinction without a fight. Please support Guardians’ Wolf Defense Fund with a gift today and help us ensure gray wolves have a future.
Then sign this petition urging the incoming Biden administration to immediately take action on January 20 to halt the impending slaughter and begin the process of restoring Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves. After you sign the petition, make sure to share it with your family, friends, and networks.
We’re in this for the long haul. WildEarth Guardians fights for the Wild—and with you at our side, we will protect and defend wolves.