The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has formally proposed removing gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act. If this proposal goes through, it will be legal to shoot gray wolves on sight across the country. Gray wolves are rare, majestic animals that scientists consider to be a “keystone species,” important to the health of entire ecosystems. There are only about 4,000 gray wolves left in the lower 48 states. They deserve to survive.
This decision is politically motivated, driven by the demands of the cattle lobby. But the fact is, wolves are responsible for only 1% of premature livestock deaths. And dogs actually kill far more livestock than wolves do! Environmental groups actively work with ranchers to keep wolves away from cattle through humane means. But the cattle industry wants to see wolves exterminated. We can’t let this happen.
After gray wolves nearly died out in this country, the USFWS led a massive effort in the mid-90s to reintroduce them across their historic range. Their populations grew to about 5,000. But Congress recently voted to strip their protections in the Northern Rockies, resulting in the killing of 1,100 wolves by ranchers and hunters in the past two years. Now the USFWS is proposing to strip their protections nationwide. This makes no sense. Did we save wolves just to shoot them? 16 prominent wildlife scientists have signed a letter to the USFWS denouncing this proposal as scientifically unsound.
If we don’t take action before this proposal goes through September 11, 2013, thousands more wolves will be brutally killed.
Don’t let the cattle industry win.
I hope you’ll sign this petition asking Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, and Daniel Ashe, Director of the USFWS, to withdraw the USFWS’s proposal to remove gray wolves from Endangered Species Act protection. Please help save this beautiful, legendary creature from extinction.
Photo (c) Steven Kobrine, 2008. Used with permission from www.eWildlifePhoto.com.