The Big Bad Wolf - Opinion in LA Times

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The Big Bad Wolf - Opinion in LA Times

Post by WQ Project Coordinator » Thu May 01, 2008 1:59 pm

The big bad wolf
In the Rockies, man's hatred and fear of the species is on display again.
By Gary Ferguson
April 30, 2008
It's been nearly 100 years since 22-year-old graduate biology student Aldo Leopold shot and killed one of the last wolves in New Mexico. He later recounted the event with regret, describing having watched in the animal's eyes the "dying of that fierce green fire." Decades later, as one of the most influential conservation biologists of his day, Leopold would be among the first to articulate the importance of predators in healthy ecosystems, calling in 1944 for the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

One can only imagine what he might think of the killing spree going on today in the northern Rocky Mountains. In Wyoming alone, at least 16 wolves have been shot since they came off the federal endangered species list on March 28 -- including two within the first 24 hours, ambushed by hunters waiting near an elk wintering ground.

Heaven knows the wolves did their part to get off the endangered list. There were almost no wolves in the northern Rockies before they were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996, and they took full advantage of a land nearly bereft of their own kind, repopulating it with remarkable efficiency. By 2000, the three recovery zones -- greater Yellowstone, northwest Montana and central Idaho -- had already met the target criteria for delisting: 300 animals and 30 breeding pairs for three consecutive years. Today, an estimated 1,500 wolves live in and around those recovery zones, including about 100 breeding pairs.

From a scientific perspective, then, the gray wolf of the northern Rockies is no longer in danger of extinction. Some environmental groups opposed to delisting claim that there is insufficient genetic diversity, particularly in the more isolated wild lands of greater Yellowstone. But in that area alone, there are about 450 animals. Given that the genetic diversity rate of these wolves is on par with those of northern Canada, as well as the fact that there are signs of ingress by animals from other places, the majority of North America's prominent wolf biologists simply don't share that concern. Nonetheless, on Monday a dozen environmental groups filed suit in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Mont., hoping to overturn the government's decision to remove the wolf from the endangered species list.

For the rest of the article, go to: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/com ... 0430.story

I thought this was an interesting article that talks about the fact that the attitude about wolves out West endangers the wolf population more than the science does.
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Re: The Big Bad Wolf - Opinion in LA Times

Post by wolfsong » Thu May 01, 2008 7:19 pm

:( WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?! WHAT WRONG HAVE WOLVES SONE FOR DOING WHAT THEY DO NATRALY!! ITS NOT FAIR!
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Re: The Big Bad Wolf - Opinion in LA Times

Post by king1-7 » Thu May 01, 2008 9:10 pm

Excerpts:
Season after season, the Fish and Wildlife Service stood firm against that stance. In the end, though, the federal agency gave in.

There is no good explanation for why the Fish and Wildlife Service gave its blessing to such provisions, other than simple weariness.


It's such a shame if this is the true reason why the Rocky Mountain wolves were delisted. I don't care who harasses them, the USFWS shouldn't crumble under pressure, even if it is prolonged.

(Would-be wolf killers would do well to remember that, being a fecund species, reduced pack density often leads to larger litters and higher pup survival rates.


I found this interesting. I didn't know that.

Furthermore, as even the Montana Livestock Assn. noted nearly a century ago, only a small percentage of wolves kill livestock. Eliminate a well-behaved wolf pack, and it may quickly be replaced with one far less well-mannered.)


True, true. If people are worried about their livestock getting killed by wolves, and their farm is in a free-fire zone, the solution seems obvious to them: "Take out the wolves and I won't have a problem." Like the quote says, though...once a pack has been hunted out of existence, another might move in, and who's to say this pack isn't more habituated to humans than the last?

Yet in failing to demand that the states manage wolves with at least a modicum of respect, the feds have all but guaranteed yet another long chapter of heartless persecution.


This is exactly what tons of people on here have been saying. The hunting restrictions are far too lenient, in my opinion. Yes, the wolf numbers have exponentially increased in the Northern Rockies from what they were a decade ago, but I don't believe that justifies a total clean sweep of wolves in that area.

Each man stands with his arms wrapped around the chest of a dead wolf, straining to hold it up for the camera. They seem proud, big grins spread across their faces. And not a trace of Aldo Leopold's regret.


I thought this was sad. If you're going to hunt a wolf, or any animal for that matter, you should, at the very least, respect it.

Sorry if I basically quoted the whole article there. O_o

(Yes, I posted this whole thing on another topic...I moved it here, though, because this is the topic I MEANT to post it on. I got mixed up... :oops: )
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