Monday, 27 January 2014

State-sanctioned Wolf Kills in Northern Rockies, Midwest Hit 2,500

For Immediate Release, January 24, 2014

Contact: Amaroq Weiss (707) 779-9613

State-sanctioned Wolf Kills in Northern Rockies, Midwest Hit 2,500

Grim Milestone Highlights Need for Ongoing Federal Protection in Lower 48

SAN FRANCISCO— In a foreshadowing of how wolves will be managed across most of the lower 48 states if the Obama administration drops federal protections, 2,567 gray wolves have now been killed by hunters and trappers in the six states where wolf protections were eliminated in 2011 and 2012. As a result of aggressive hunting and trapping seasons in those states, roughly half the total known population of wolves in the lower 48 in 2013 has been killed, and wolf populations are now in decline. 

“If this senseless slaughter doesn’t convince the Obama administration we need to reverse course on plans to drop wolf protections, the bloodbath will go on,” said Amaroq Weiss, a wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “States are making it very clear that they have no interest in managing wolf populations in a sustainable way. It makes no sense to strip endangered species protections from wolves just so they can once again face the human hatred and persecution that drove them to the very brink of extinction in the first place.”

Idaho and Montana have held wolf hunting or trapping seasons since federal protection was removed in 2011. By 2012, Wyoming, Minnesota and Wisconsin had followed suit, and in 2013, Michigan also allowed wolf hunting. So far 912 wolves have been killed in Idaho, 566 in Montana, 130 in Wyoming, 562 in Minnesota, 374 in Wisconsin and 23 in Michigan. The death totals are in addition to wolves that have been killed by agency staff for conflicts with livestock and wolves killed by illegal poaching. 

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