Home Sciences The wolf is once again protected in most of the United States

The wolf is once again protected in most of the United States


The wolf remains at the center of controversy, also in the United States. To protect it or not to protect it, that is the question. The species, which is causing bitter confrontations in Spain, is once again protected in a large part of the North American country thanks to the decision of a federal judge, who has overturned the policies that made possible the persecution of the species approved at the time of the previous president, Donald Trump, and later defended by the Biden administration. Now him wolf is protected again.

But, as usual when discussing the wolf, almost no one has been completely satisfied with the sentence. Ranchers predict more damage to their cabinswhile environmental groups, while applauding the decision, lament that protection does not reach north of the Rocky Mountains, where the wolves, they denounce, are being “persecuted and massacred.”

Environmentalists remember that hunters nearly wiped out this species a century ago in much of the country, and that federal protections alone have helped many herds recover in recent decades.

Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued his verdict after concluding that the US Fish and Wildlife Service failed to show that gray wolf populations could be sustained in much of the country without the protection of the Endangered Species Act. .

The magistrate concluded that the protection of the species was a success and propitiated its recovery in a large part of the country, while the withdrawal of that protection has notably harmed itbecause some states have starred intense elimination campaigns of hundreds of copies.

Scientists in favor of protection

The ruling restores protection for wolves in the Great Lakes region, the Pacific Coast states, and the southern Rocky Mountains; that is, in 44 states. In those places, federal officials will once again manage the wolf populations.

During the Trump administration, despite the concern expressed by numerous scientists, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the endangered species list and returned control to the states.

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The new status of the wolf led to its persecution in much of the country. So much so that in the spring of last year, the state had to end the wolf hunting season early, after more than 200 wolves were shot dead in less than 60 hours, far exceeding the state quota, established at 119 copies. The Ojibwe tribes then expressed their deep discomfort. Wolves hold a sacred place in their culture.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration defended in court the continuity of the ‘Trump criterion’. The New Mexico wolves are considered a separate population and have never lost protection.

In his ruling, Judge White questioned the justification put forward by the Trump administration, stressing that the state agency’s decision to remove the wolf from the list of protected animals was not based on the best available sciencenor did it fully address threats to the species outside of its core populations.

The species, threatened by hunting

Conservationists have been warning for years about the intense pressure from hunters in states like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, which were not affected in this court case. This situation remains a serious threat to the survival of the country’s gray wolvesaccording to environmentalists.

The secretary of the Department of the Interior of the United States, Deb Haaland, intervened in the controversy last week, when she published an article in ‘Usa Today’ in which she stated: “Gray wolves are being killed outside of Yellowstone again. Some new state laws jeopardize decades of federal and state partnerships that had saved them.”

It was his reaction to the death of more than twenty specimens “they just set foot outside” the limits of that national park, because “they do not recognize the border lines on a map.” The slaughter, which leaves only 94 wolves alive in Yellowstone, sparked angry protests from wildlife advocates, tourists and guide companies that rely on those visitors..

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Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, called for respect for “our non-human relatives,” especially wolves, who “for centuries have been exploited for their fur, killed in the name of protecting people, livestock, and game species, and nearly wiped out through government-sponsored actions”.

He pledged to ensure wolves have “the conservation they need to survive and thrive in the wild based on science and law” while “keeping communities and communities safe.” reduce conflicts between wolves and ranchers”.

“States do not do the right thing”

“It is critical that we all recognize that our nation’s wolf populations are integral part of the health of fragile ecosystems and have a significant cultural importance in our heritage shared”, added the Secretary of the Interior.

He finally announced that the Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating whether to also relist the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population under the Endangered Species Act.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, one of the organizations that has sued the Interior Department over Trump-era politics, hopes the court ruling will “stop the bleeding.” But he warned that hunting north of the Rocky Mountains continues to be “a serious problem” because “states are not doing the right thing for wolves”.

Controversy over wolf hunting is running particularly high in the state of Montana and the area around Yellowstone National Park, where gray wolves were reintroduced in 1995, after being eliminated by hunters in the 1920s. Because in 2021, wolf hunting quotas were eliminated north of Yellowstone, an area heavily frequented by wolf packs coming in and out of the park.

Deb Harland article in ‘Usa Today’: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2022/02/07/interior-gray-wolves-protection/9234169002/

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