Federal government ending wolf protections in Wyoming

The US government will remove wolves from its endangered species list in Wyoming, allowing the state to shoot the animals on sight in most areas.

The decision by US Fish and Wildlife Service comes after a 20-year programme to grow the wolf population.

Environmental groups threatened legal action against the move.

There were once almost two million gray wolves in North America, but they were nearly wiped out by fur traders and hunters in the 1930s.

In the 1990s, 14 wolves from Canada quickly reproduced after they were released in Yellowstone National Park in north-west Wyoming.

There are now thought to be about 270 wolves outside Yellowstone in the western US state.

'Tragic ending'

Under the new rules, Wyoming must maintain at least 10 breeding pairs of wolves and no fewer than 100 animals.

This image provided by Yellowstone National Park shows a wolf walking through the snow in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. (AP/Yellowstone National Park)

But ranchers and farmers in Wyoming have long argued that wolves prey on their livestock and want to be able to control the population.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said: "The wolf population in Wyoming is recovered, and it is appropriate that the responsibility for wolf management be returned to the state."

Gray wolves will continue to be protected in some areas of the state.

But Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, called it "a tragic ending to what has otherwise been one of America's greatest wildlife conservation success stories".

He added that his group would take legal action to ensure protections for wolves are reinstated.

The director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledged there would be opposition to the decision.

"You're going to hear, I think, a fair amount of rhetoric of unregulated killing and trapping and open seasons and free-fire zones," Dan Ashe said.
Beginning Sept. 30, gray wolves will be removed from the rolls of the Endangered Species Act and placed on the list of predatory animals, allowing Wyoming hunters to shoot the animals on sight in about 85 percent of the state. (Getty Images)

Wolves in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway and the Wind River Indian Reservation will be protected from hunting.

The new rules will come into effect on 30 September.

There are about another 1,100 wolves in the states of Montana and Idaho, and still more in Washington and Oregon.

Please Sign Petition

Tell Obama- Wolves have NOT made a "Full Recovery"

Responses to "Wyoming drops federal protection of gray wolves (Petition)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awful. I hate this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I do not like to give my personal information out on the web however you may use my nickname; Chief. I am apaulled by the government to allow this to happen in Wyoming or any other state. The government gives handouts to just about anyone these days so why not reimburse farmers & ranchers for livestock killed by wolves (only if it is well documented to prove that it was a wolf/wolves). Wolves have the right to live and they are important to weeding out the weak or sick in herds. Unfortunately, sometimes that means a young one could become prey but it has been widely documented that Great Pyrenese dogs, llamas and other animals are successful in protecting livestock. Why can't a breeding program be made to offer these protecters to ranchers & farmers at a very discounted price? Seems like a no brainer to me!

  3. Elizabeth Nolen says:

    I tried to share. It will not. You might check into this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    When did the great big "bad" wolf become such a political toy and why? This is a beautiful, spiritual different than the elk or deer; but, for some reason the wolf has shouldered all the hate and greediness of another specific breed..i.e. the neverending complaints and misplaced hate of ranchers and farmers who seek to have control over nature. It is well documented many of them injure or mame their own livestock then blame it on just one animal..the wolf. No other animal exist that could also injure? Perhaps it is the fircest and nasty animal of all..the human. The wolf has become the chosen one to bear the burden of man;s greediness and unspiritual nature. How ridiculous...time to grow up. Nature is nature..we cannot control nature by exterminating one species. I believe Hitler tried that Mr. Rancher/ Farmer. Are you proud to identify with that? Sounds like it. The wolf needs protection...lets get the facts straight and stop trying to mold the universe to fit your greediness/green pocket syndrome. I would hate to be you on Judgment Day.

  5. Wyoming needs more natural predators. Wolves are a critical part of creating equilibrium within the high plains ecosystem. Deer and Elk are amazingly plentiful...if not creating a driving hazard and nuisance to local back yard gardens. Natural predation creates healthier populations of native game, let's leave wolves "Listed" for another twenty years and let nature work it's systemic equilibrium out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are part of the eco-system and they maintain the balance of the natural world that they live in! Humans have over-populated this world and in the process are destroying it at an alarming rate and the animals in it! We are the "aliens" on this planet and are not part of this delicate eco-system! We just go around shooting, trapping and killing wolves and other animals for the fun of it! This must stop is SO wrong! Let the wolves run wild and free......and all the animals of the world!

Write a comment