Target: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Goal: Put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list to stabilize populations in the upper Midwest region
Gray wolves have made a remarkable recovery since the species was hunted to near extinction over 40 years ago. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the species from the endangered species list in January 2012 when the species recovered to more than 4,000 individuals in the upper Midwest region. However, since the species has been delisted, hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have killed 530 wolves during hunting season. In addition, the Michigan Legislature voted to authorize wolf hunting in the state. Legalized wolf hunting and lack of protection for this species threatens the gray wolf’s recovery in its historic range throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; therefore, the gray wolf should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
In order for a species to become delisted, it must make a full recovery in numbers. This means that gray wolf populations must recover across their former range before the species became endangered. Even though gray wolf populations have significantly increased, this species still does not exist in 95% of its historic range. Regulated hunting and poaching in the upper Midwest before the species has fully recovered would allow a 50% decline in the region’s population. This population decline would drastically threaten wolf populations in the region and deter the species from a full recovery. In addition to reducing local populations, insufficient protection of gray wolves would also prevent certain wolves from dispersing to unoccupied areas of the wolf’s range.
It is unthinkable that these states would authorize hunting seasons less than a year after the gray wolf came off of the federal endangered species list. Without adequate federal protection, wolf populations will succumb to the same wolf management policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place. Sign this petition to urge the USFWS to put gray wolves back on the federal endangered species list in efforts to help this species properly recover.
Dear U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
I would like to urge you to put gray wolves back on the federal endangered species list. Last January, the species was removed from the endangered species list because its numbers had increased to approximately 4,000 individuals. However, shortly after, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan authorized wolf-hunting seasons to begin. In less than a year, 530 wolves were hunted in the upper Midwest region. This species should not be hunted, as gray wolves still do not exist in 95% of their historic range.
Continued hunting and trapping of gray wolves in the upper Midwest before the species has fully recovered would allow a 50% decline in the region’s gray wolf population. Not only does the lack of federal protection reduce current wolf populations, but it also prevents wolves from dispersing to unoccupied areas and new ranges.
Without adequate federal protection, it is very likely that gray wolf populations in the United States will succumb to the same management policies that nearly eradicated the entire species over 40 years ago. Please consider continued protection for this majestic species and put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Friends of Seney National Wildlife Refuge via Flickr