We are in the midst of a war on wolves, and wolves aren’t the only ones who stand to lose. In fact, if the anti-wolf side wins and industry interests get their way, nature as a whole will be racked and, ultimately, we all stand to suffer as a result.
See, nature is all about balance, and wolves are apex predators that keep other species, particularly grazing animals, in check. By doing so, they help ensure that pastures and grasslands and other food sources for myriad species can endure, which in turn, minimizes erosion and protects our nation’s rivers, as explained in the video How Wolves Change Rivers.
And yet, throughout all corners of wolf territory here in the U.S., wolves are being needlessly targeted and killed, and packs are becoming fragmented and destroyed, in the name of industry profits.
Hunters assert that the wolves are killing off too many game, leaving too few grazers available to be massacred by these hunters’ own guns. Cattle ranchers, too, are leading the charge. These ranchers access our public lands at extraordinary little cost (and, therefore, largely at the expense of taxpayers) and put their cattle out to graze, specifically in wolf territory, meanwhile offering little to no protection for their own animals. The presence of these livestock leads native grazers such as deer, elk, and antelope to exit the area, leaving few other meal options for the wolves residing in that region. When cattle are all that remain and wolves, like all species, must eat, they have no choice but to go after those cows.
Ranchers cry out that something must be done to protect their herds above all else, while hunters demand that their “sport” be saved, and government agencies are siding with these interests by ordering aerial attacks and state-sponsored hunts. This is already happening in several states including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, wherein taxpayers are forced to fund the slaughtering of crucial species they respect and love.
Now, a group of senators has introduced a bill that will strip gray wolves from all endangered species protections in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. If they succeed and this bill is passed, wolves in those states will likely completely disappear within a handful of years.
Take, for example, what has already occurred in Alaska’s Denali National Park, where following such killings, wolf sightings have “rapidly declined from 45 percent to 6 percent over the course of just a few years,” according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The consequences of this are many. As HSUS Alaska State Director Michael Haukedalen explains, wolves are “highly intelligent, familial animals,” and surviving pack members “suffer trauma and experience disruption when fellow pack members are killed….This disruption results in packs disbanding,” and “elimination of the breeding pair can lead to the loss of pups or yearlings by slow starvation.”
This is the cruel dismantling of keystone species that have helped to preserve our landscapes for eons. If this type of legislation succeeds, it will open the way for other states to follow suit, spelling doom for all of America’s wolf species, many of which already lie at the brink of extinction.
We must stop this from happening before it’s too late. You can help by:
- Contacting your state representatives and asking that they oppose the proposed bill S. 164
- Signing this petition to stop the Alaska Board of Game from slaughtering more Alaskan wolves
- Adopting a plant-based diet or reducing your consumption of meat to lower the demand that threatens wolves
- Sharing this post and encouraging everyone you know to stand up against this war on wolves
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