Beyond its role as a living symbol of our natural landscape, the wolf is a keystone species. Its presence is critical to maintaining the structure and integrity of native ecosystems. Federal protections for wolves are essential to help this animal recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range.
On June 7, 2013, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) officially announced proposals that will impact the future of America’s gray wolves.
1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal: USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States. Although USFWS director Daniel M. Ashe declared victory for gray wolf recovery by stating “Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands,” 16 scientists with expertise in carnivore taxonomy and conservation biology voiced their concern that the delsiting rule is terribly premature in a letter sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on May 21st. They argued that the delisting rule flouts “the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.” The ESA let our country give wolves a second chance. With second chances so hard to come by, should we be willing to throw them away?
2) Proposed Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: USFWS plans to re-designate wild Mexican gray wolves as “experimental, non-essential.” Although critically endangered Mexican wolves are exempt from the nationwide delisting proposal, they will be subject to other provisions that are very problematic. With only 70+ wild lobos left, every Mexican wolf is an essential part of recovering this unique subspecies of wolf. USFWS must put the rest of its proposed rule on hold and speed up approval for more direct releases into additional areas. The USFWS must also complete a comprehensive recovery plan and let the public see it before changing the current rule.
Wolves nationwide urgently need our help and people of all ages can #StandForWolves. USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
- Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal here.
- Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential here.
Standing for Wolves is a family affair! Ten-year-old Desiree from NY (pictured above) knows wolves are essential. In her letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, she writes:
“Please preserve and save the wolves because without them the food chain will get messed up and their prey’s population will explode. So please save the wolves so nothing in the world will change drastically.”
If your child wants to speak up for wolves, please download our Letter Template for Kids and send it to:Wolf Conservation Center PO BOX 421 South Salem, NY10590