Coyote hunting means trouble for red wolves – A North Carolina hunting rule that allows coyote hunting in red wolf habitat is a serious threat to this endangered species. That’s because coyotes and red wolves look very similar-and that means the chances a red wolf could be mistaken for a coyote and shot by a hunter, especially at night, are dangerously high. In fact, nearly 30 percent of the red wolf population was killed by gunshot from 2000 to 2013, and only about 100 red wolves roam free in the wild today. Being able to hunt where a similar species is trying to recover is completely unacceptable and will do nothing more than harm the population. Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups are taking action: we filed a complaint in federal court, stating that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is violating the federal Endangered Species Act. Stay tuned for updates on the case as we fight for the recovery of this precious and unique wolf species – and click here to help support our work.
Wolf hearings rescheduled – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the rescheduled dates for the remainder of the public hearings on Thursday. The comment period has been officially extended until December 17, which will allow the hearings to occur within the public comment periods on the proposed rules.
This means you have time to submit comments to tell the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) not to delist gray wolves, and to implement a real recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves. Removing wolves from the Endangered Species list across most of the country would be premature. There is still work to be done, so tell the Service to finish the job! Likewise, with a population of only 75 individuals in the wild, Mexican gray wolves are on the verge of a second extinction in the wild. The service is proposing changes to the rules that manage these iconic wolves of the southwest but those changes, while doing some good, ignore the best science and will make it almost impossible for the Mexican gray wolf to recover. It’s important that wolf advocates speak up on both of these critical issues. So don’t miss your chance to howl for the wolves!
The hearings will take place as listed below:
- November 19 in Denver, Colorado
- November 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- November 22 in Sacramento, California
- December 3 in Pinetop, Arizona
Visit www.savewolves.org for more details.
Defenders delivers in Duluth – From October 10-13, conservationists, scientists, and wolf enthusiasts attended the 2013 International Wolf Symposium held in Duluth, Minnesota. People gathered for presentations on Wolf Human Interactions, Wolf Management, Wolves and Environmental Education and Wolf Recovery. Read Defenders’ wolf expert Suzanne Stone’s firsthand account about the event here: 2013 Wolf Symposium in Duluth.
Little wolf advocates – Defenders’ Colorado Outreach Representative, Caitlin Balch-Burnett, has been working to boost awareness about the importance of wolf recovery to Colorado’s future generation through school presentations. Caitlin spoke to students about the current status of wolves in Colorado, the Service’s proposal to remove federal protections from nearly all gray wolves in the lower 48 states, and asked students to write letters to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell with their opinions on the delisting.
She also spoke to 9th and 10th graders at Bennett High School in Bennett, Colorado. The students were impressed with the success of non-lethal methods and many of them mentioned in their letters that these methods should be required of livestock owners. Caitlin collected more than 80 letters from the Bennett students, with almost 90% of the students expressing their opposition to the delisting proposal.
Caitlin gave a similar presentation to an after-school wildlife club at Aspen Creek K-8 School in Broomfield, Colorado this week. The club was created for middle school students to learn more about wild animals around the globe, but two 2nd-graders were so interested in wolves that they asked to attend. The students wrote passionate letters to Secretary Jewell asking her to help protect wolves so that they might one day be able to see them in Colorado. Here is an excerpt from one of the letters:
“I believe that wolves should remain under federal protection. They are important – to us, our economy, and to other species of wildlife. Wolves keep local caribou, moose, deer, and elk populations in check and healthy. Wolves are a huge symbol to our society; they symbolize courage, loyalty, friendship, and fierceness.” ~Carpi, 7th grade
John Yeingst is Defenders’ Communications Coordinator