Target: Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director
Goal: Save Wisconsin’s wolves from inevitable extinction by immediately relisting them as endangered
Wolves in Wisconsin are rapidly approaching extinction due to aggressive hunting, trapping and poaching, as well as alleged inaccurate population counts by state officials. Scientists are recommending wolves immediately be “emergency relisted” as endangered so they can receive the federal protection needed to save them from imminent extinction.
The wolf population in Wisconsin is dangerously low due to aggressive hunting, trapping, poaching and the unregulated year-round use of dogs to kill wolves, according to the Endangered Species Coalition. ESC officials report that a shocking 407 wolves have been legally killed during hunting season in the last two years, and another season with similar numbers would nearly destroy the remaining population. Further, scientists who conducted a study in 2012 found that for every four wolves legally hunted, another seven were illegally killed, eight were killed by the government or vehicles and two died of natural causes.
Alleged inaccurate population counts may also be contributing to the rapid decline of the state’s wolf population. Last year, state officials interpreted their wolf census data “in secret” for the first time in 25 years, according to ESC. A team of scientists recently found multiple flaws in the state’s reporting methods involving both wolf mortality and the wolf population status. These same scientists made urgent recommendations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that “emergency relisting” of wolves be immediately implemented, meaning wolves be legally declared endangered under the Endangered Species Act so they would receive federal protection. Scientists also recommended an independent scientific review panel be formed to monitor future state recovery plans.
Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s director to follow the urgent advice of scientists and immediately relist wolves in Wisconsin. Also ask that he take the necessary steps to form an independent scientific review panel.
Dear Mr. Ashe,
As an animal welfare advocate, I am extremely concerned that Wisconsin’s wolf population is rapidly approaching extinction. Alleged inaccurate population counts, as well as aggressive hunting, trapping and poaching of wolves have created the urgent need for the state’s wolves to be immediately relisted as endangered.
More than 400 wolves were legally hunted during the past two hunting seasons, and a 2012 study showed that for every four wolves legally hunted, another seven were illegally killed, eight were killed by the government or vehicles and two died of natural causes, according to the Endangered Species Coalition. Another year with similar numbers would be devastating to the state’s remaining wolf population. In addition, state officials reportedly interpreted their wolf census data in secret last year for the first time in 25 years, and scientists recently reported “multiple flaws” in the state’s wolf mortality and wolf population status reporting methods, according to ESC.
Scientists have publicly recommended emergency relisting for Wisconsin’s wolves so that they may receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act before they are wiped out completely. I urge you to follow the recommendations of scientists by immediately relisting Wisconsin’s wolves as endangered and seeing that an independent scientific review panel be formed to monitor future state recovery plans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Campbell William via Wikimedia Commons