The gray wolves of the midwest are under attack for the third time in seven years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The agency wishes to strip the wolves of their protected status under the Endangered Species Act. They've failed in the past, but following the legislation that has removed protections from gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains, they're trying again.
Great Lake gray wolves were hunted nearly to extinction just a few decades ago. Since then, they've been doing well but aren't out of the woods yet. They still face threats from disease and illegal hunting. Scientists have also concluded that there isn't just one species living in the area, but two, and they've been interbreeding. Biologists say it is imperative for protections to remain intact for the recovery of both species -- and the new hybrid species -- to be successful.
Wisconsin plans to bring numbers down to 350, which is about half of the current population. Minnesota plans to pay officials a bounty for every wolf they kill.
The U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service is asking for public opinion on the matter. Sign the petition to tell the Fish and Wildlife Service: Wolves need protection until recovery is truly achieved and threats are diminished.
Photo credit: Drew Avery