Did you know that wolves, also known as grey wolves, belong to the dog family?
They are the largest members of a taxonomic family – Canidae that also includes foxes, coyotes, and jackals.
These grayish black to ash brown fuzzy wolves are known as the Timber Wolf in North American, while their snow-white species are called the White Wolf in the Arctic.
Grey wolves are legendary for their spine-chilling howl and their cunning traits. While these large creatures have got a bad reputation as a result of cautionary fictional tales, wolves are highly intelligent, caring (as they loved to look after their little ones), and seldom attack human beings. Unfortunately, grey wolves are among the endangered species among many parts of the world. There are only a few of them are left in the lower 48 states of the United States. Continue reading this post to find out major reasons why grey wolves are considered endangered species and what can be done to protect these grizzly mammals.
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When Did the Grey Wolf Become Endangered?
The population of wolves started to diminish in 1933 when the infamous Bounty Hunters killed the majority of wolves in the continental United States. As a result of this, only a scarce population of the grey wolves existed in a few parts of the state such as Montana, Michigan, and Idaho.
It wasn’t until 1973, when grey wolves, along with the red wolves, were declared endangered under the Endangered Species Act Law by President Nixon. As soon as the act was passed, the grey wolves received federal protection. Environmentalists took necessary precautions to restore the wolf population in the state. It was strictly prohibited to kill and harass these animals and destroy their habitats. Anyone that partook in these malicious acts was punished and had to pay a penalty.
When Was the Grey Wolf Removed from the List of Endangered Species?
In February 2006, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced their plan to remove Northern Rockies gray wolves from the list of endangered species as long as Wyoming – one of the US states – adopts a plan to protect these wolves for their long, continual survival.
However, grey wolves continued to remain on the endangered list due to the lack of a proper management plan in Wyoming. Over the years, Wyoming proposed a couple of management plans for the long-lasting protection of the grey wolf – some were half-accepted, others were downright rejected. It wasn’t until late March 2008 that grey wolves were officially delisted from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rockies.
What Happened After the Grey Wolf Was Removed from the List of Endangered Species?
Northern Rookies delisting was strongly challenged when a rare Yellowstone’s member, Druid Pack – Wolf 253, also known as Limpy or Hoppy – was brutally killed on March 28, 2008. This incident led to the Environmental Law – Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the removal of Northern Rockies grey wolves from the Endangered Species List.
The Earthjustice’s suit led the federal court to re-implement ESA protection for the grey wolf in the Northern Rockies. This act was highly appreciated by the conservatives and environmentalists as this prevented many fall hunts that would have caused killings of hundreds of wolves in the US states.
Are Grey Wolves Still Endangered?
In many parts of the United States, the population of grey wolves has recovered considerably. But still, the wolf population has barely restored that could protect grey wolves from depleting any further. Therefore, grey wolves are still on the ESL and it seems quite unlikely for these species to be delisted anytime soon.
The issue is that the minute grey wolves are delisted; they are hunted down, trapped, and killed ruthlessly. Considering this, delisting grey wolves may not be a good idea for the federal government until wolf populations are fully recovered.
What Can Be Done to Fully Recover Grey Wolves?
Wolves are undoubtedly one of the most majestic creatures in the world. If these species continued to be slain, they might fall on the brink of extinction. There are many ways you can take action to save wolves and revive their population. A few of those ways are listed here:
1. Volunteer at a Wolf Sanctuary or in the Wild
Go online and see if you can find any wolf sanctuary in your area where you can look after the wolves and also spread awareness against the mass destruction of their natural habitats.
If you can’t find any wolf sanctuary nearby, you can get in touch with various organizations that help wolves in the wild. Get enrolled in one of their programs and assist with daily jobs of taking care of wolves and talking to people that visit them.
2. Start Your Own Petition or Sign Up One!
One of the most effective ways to show your support for protection, restoration, and preservation of wolves is by either starting your own petition or signing up one online. You can find many major sites such as Addup.org or Change.org that feature online petitions to help save wolves.
3. Raise Awareness on Social Media
Social media is one of the great ways to raise awareness about important causes such as endangered wolves. If you have found an online petition and want others to sign it too, you can encourage others on your social media accounts.
Despite multiple efforts, grey wolves are still on the endangered list. They need to be protected from hunting for livestock and other purposes to control their depleting population. These species need our support and care more than ever. Environmentalists and conservatives should put in place effective measures to protect these threatened species for good.