1,000 wolves dead and gone – It’s sad, but true. In just a year and half at least 1,000 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers in the Northern Rockies. That doesn’t include hundreds more that were removed by state and federal wildlife agents in response to reported livestock losses and to boost elk and deer herds. Nor does it count dozens more that were illegally poached.
Here are the grim numbers, tallied yesterday:
While we’ve yet to see estimates of how many wolves still remain in the region, the numbers could be falling fast. According to state officials, more than 400 wolves died in Idaho in 2012 from all causes—more than half the 2011 year-end count. At this rate, the regional wolf population could plummet quickly.
Wolves in Idaho and Montana lost their federal protection less than two years ago, and in Wyoming it’s been just five months. Yet overly aggressive management by all three states is once again putting the species at risk. To make matters worse, anti-wolf legislators in Montana and Idaho are already pushing to escalate wolf-killing efforts even further. Idaho legislators want to let people bait wolves with other dead wolves – really! – and Montana legislators want to give away free wolf licenses and ban hunting and trapping closures near Yellowstone National Park. That’s why we need you to help us fight these short-sighted bills at every turn. Stay tuned for more details to come in the weeks ahead.