Target: Wildlife Conservation Society CEO Cristian Samper
Goal: Encourage protection of the maned wolf from the threats of habitat loss and human encroachment
Land development in South America threatens several unique species, among them an animal often described as a fox on stilts. The maned wolf is a unique canine, three feet tall at the shoulder, known for its shy nature and omnivorous diet. Though not yet listed as endangered, it is a vulnerable species, threatened by habitat loss and human encroachment. Petition the Wildlife Conservation Society to increase awareness, and urge the South American governments to take action to preserve the maned wolf.
The maned wolf is not yet threatened, but it is vulnerable. Long years of hunting and persecution have taken their toll on the population. Despite their small teeth and diet of fruit and small mammals, maned wolves were often suspected of killing large livestock or chickens. With greater education, the targeting of maned wolves has stopped, but they are still hunted for their body parts, particularly the eyes, considered to be good-luck charms.
Habitat loss is the biggest threat to maned wolves, and continued development of grasslands and scrub forests destroys the native range of these animals. With dwindling habitat, maned wolves are hard pressed to find enough food or territory away from human threats and encroachment. They are also killed by cars while attempting to cross roads, and may be targeted by individuals who believe them responsible for killing livestock.
Man’s best friend is also one of the maned wolf’s biggest threats. Domestic dogs may kill maned wolves, chasing them down and attacking them. They are also capable of passing on disease, potentially devastating wild populations.
Though not yet endangered, the maned wolf is in need of help. They must be protected from the threats of habitat loss and human encroachment before they become yet another species in danger of disappearing forever because of human activity.
Dear Mr. Samper,
The maned wolf is a vulnerable species, on the verge of becoming endangered as so many other species have in the face of human activity. Threatened by past years of hunting, killed in the mistaken belief that they attacked large livestock, and harvested for their body parts, maned wolves struggle to recover and survive in an increasingly developed world. Agricultural development claims the grasslands and scrub forests in which maned wolves survive, destroying habitat and bringing them closer to human habitation and all its dangers.
I urge the Wildlife Conservation Society to increase awareness of this unique canine and the threats it faces. The Brazilian government cracked down on illegal hunting and granted the maned wolf greater protection from needless killing, but more can and should be done. Unless action is taken, the maned wolf may join thousands of other species on the endangered list.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sage Ross via Wikimedia Commons