The administration of President Donald Trump has removed Gray wolf species from the Endangered Species Act protection in most of the United States. This drastic decision ended the longstanding federal protection and tasked states and tribes with overseeing predators.
The Daily Mail reported that the move announced by the US Department of the Interior prior to the November 3 elections could lead to an increase in wolf hunting in key war zones such as Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The publication reported that it believes POTUS could “reverse Minnesota and protect Wisconsin and Michigan,” and they were all affected by the current movement. The decision was called disappointing by Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz, who opposed the recreational wolf hunt.
However, Federal wildlife officials argued that thriving wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes region, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest enabled the long-term survival of the species. They said it was not necessary for wolves to be in every place they once lived in order to be considered saved. Dan Ashe, former US Fish and Wildlife Service director, admitted that the wolves were cured. He reportedly said it was time for the agency to “go ahead” to help other endangered wildlife. Despite the claims of federal officials, some biologists said this move lacked scientific justification. Wildlife advocates worry that this move will make it difficult for wolves to recover in more areas, such as the southern Rocky Mountains and parts of the Northeast.
While movement around wild animals becomes controversial, here’s what we need to know about gray wolves and why they are protected.
Why were gray wolves protected?
Gray wolves once roamed North America from Alaska to Mexico and from Maine to California. They are adaptable and intelligent hunters, and research proves that they can help maintain balance in the natural ecosystem. These predators hunt deer cows and bulls in a balanced way that maintains balance in the food chain. Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist at Yellowstone, mentioned that the ability of gray wolves to control deer herds and deer populations could play a crucial role in the natural cycle.
However, in the 1900s a nationally coordinated extermination campaign eradicated most of the gray wolf population. Gray wolf numbers dropped to just 1,000 in the 1970s after long harassment, poisoning, and shooting by farmers and farmers who saw them as a threat to livestock. As a result, the US had to declare predators as endangered in the 1970s due to low numbers. Also, when Gray wolves were not around and moose cows were able to roam freely, their population increased too much and disturbed the natural balance between prey and predator. Between 1932 and 1968, the US National Park Service and the state of Montana removed more than 70,000 deer from the Northern Yellowstone herd by killing or sending them to areas that had to be eliminated to control their population across the country.
Finally, a re-entry effort was launched in the US to increase the gray wolf population. The species is currently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), where it has somehow been recovered with about 6,000 wolves in the lower 48 states. This enlivened the wolf population in the Great Lakes area, Minnesota, and Canada. However, gray wolves are not preferred by farmers and hunters. Agricultural groups and some hunting organizations condemn the ability of wolves to kill sheep and cows and feed valuable livestock species. The Daily Mail reported that 13 of the sheep on his family’s farm were killed by wolves in July 2019 by Ashleigh Calaway from Pittsville, Wisconsin. The current movement has been removing the label of the endangered species for reportedly vulnerable gray wolves, as farmers and hunters have welcomed. News.
On the other hand, 100 biologists who opposed the delisting argued that any perceived threat from wolves to livestock or humans could be easily managed and safeguards should continue. “In recent years, efforts to remove wolves from the list have been motivated by local and private interests,” the scientists wrote in a letter to POTUS. “Therefore, these efforts undermine the main purpose of the federal government and the ESA, which is to protect the species as well as a national interest.”