Having been eradicated from the lower 48 states due to unfettered hunting during the early twentieth century, gray wolves (Canis lupus) have been a hallmark species for the success of the Endangered Species Act. More than twenty years after being listed as an endangered species, whose recovery is mandated under the ESA, in 1995 gray wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park from Canada. Over the past 22 years of ESA recovery protections, the gray wolf population has swelled from 31 to 1,782 in the Northern Rocky Mountain region. Though far from fully recovered, political pressure has been rising to reintroduce legal wolf hunting throughout much of its range despite continued evidence that such hunting severely hampers recovery efforts while providing little benefit to livestock ranchers.
Having been extirpated in Washington nearly a century ago, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) began returning to the wild lands of eastern Washington in 2009. The Endangered Species Act protections afforded to the population of wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone were so successful that their population levels have begun to rise and the wolves have begun returning a level of ecological balance to their ancestral habitats. However, their continued recovery is being threatened by disregard for and suppression of scientific research, as well as expedited state-sponsored slaughter on behalf of ranching interests.
Wolves vs. Livestock
Studies have shown that non-lethal conflict avoidance is also safer for humans and livestock, as well as the wolves.
Profanity Peak Wolves
In August of 2016, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (“WDFW”) killed nearly 10% of the state’s endangered gray wolf population at the behest of the state’s largest rancher
Eco Champion Rob Wielgus
One of the continent’s leading experts on wolf-livestock interactions faced heavy academic and political pressure for his research.