Yet another tragic misstep by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) in it’s seemingly never ending quest to satisfy cattle ranchers and big game hunters is reflected in its proposal to delist the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus).
In its press release Friday, June 7th, FWS writes “The proposal comes after a comprehensive review confirmed its successful recovery following management actions undertaken by federal, state and local partners following the wolf’s listing under the Endangered Species Act over three decades ago.”
This decision is obviously not based on sound science as stated in a letter from a group ofscientists with expertise in carnivore taxonomy and conservation biology to the new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell:
“The extirpation of wolves and large carnivores from large portions of the landscape is a global phenomenon with broad ecological consequences. There is a growing body of scientific literature demonstrating that top predators play critical roles in maintaining a diversity of other wildlife species and as such the composition and function of ecosystems. Research in Yellowstone National Park, for example, found that reintroduction of wolves caused changes in elk numbers and behavior which then facilitated recovery of stream-side vegetation, benefiting beavers, fish and songbirds. In this and other ways, wolves shape North American landscapes.
Given the importance of wolves and the fact that they have only just begun to recover in some regions and not at all in others, we hope you will reconsider the Service’s proposal to remove protections across most of the United States.”
FWS notes at their Gray Wolf Recovery page that they will be opening public comments on this proposal sometime this week. I urge everyone to participate in the comment period and try to prevent the implementation of this drastic step backwards for the not yet recovered Gray Wolf.
You can get more information on the Gray Wolf and this proposal from these links:
The Wildlife News,
Delisting the Gray Wolf
Wolves in Danger
When a Wolf Dies
Exposing the Big Game,
Letter from Wolf Scientists to Sally Jewell
Northwest Public Radio,
US Fish And Wildlife Propose To Delist Gray Wolf
Wolf Delisting Proposed for Entire Lower 48
Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains