Fortunately not in Oregon because an injunction stopped the killing and the populations stabilized. But in other western states the numbers are grim for one of the top three predators native to this continent.

Jonge wolven / Young wolves

These animals are predators. But if they are given proper range that is not over hunted they will not hunt domestic livestock because they do not want to be around humans or their livestock. So proper game management has to include wolves. Not really difficult to do as there are not that many to protect. Again.

Portland, ORE Feb 01, 2013

The conservation group Oregon Wild is announcing that over 1,000 wolves have been legally killed for sport in the Western United States since they were stripped of federal protections in a 2011 congressional budget deal. At the time, the estimated wolf population in the region was between 1,700 and 2,000 animals.

This grisly milestone was reached with little fanfare sometime in the last 24 hours as state game agencies updated their websites (ID, MT, WY). The death toll does not include wolves killed by government agents and poachers. It does include collared wolves from Yellowstone National Park and two Oregon Wolves.

Wolves were nearly eliminated from the continental United States through a government-sponsored campaign of trapping, hunting, and poisoning. After earning protections under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, American wolves began to make a recovery. That recovery was hastened in 1995 when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho.

Widely seen as an icon of freedom, wilderness, and the American West, the recovery of wolves is one of America’s greatest conservation success stories. But in 2011, wolves were unceremoniously stripped of federal protections when congress attached a rider to a must-pass budget bill.

Since that time Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have instituted recreational hunting and trapping seasons. Wyoming allows an unlimited number of wolves to be killed by nearly any means in the majority of the state.

The aggressive management is validating fears from wildlife advocates and scientists who expressed concern when Idaho passed a law calling for the eradication of wolves by "any means necessary" (link). Science has demonstrated the important and irreplaceable role wolves play on the landscape, and many scientists have warned such aggressive management may push wolves back to the brink.

Wolves remain protected in the majority of the state of Oregon where conservationists are celebrating a recent increase in wolf numbers and a significant decrease in conflict.

In 2012 Oregon's wolf killing program was put on a court-ordered hold. The number of livestock losses blamed on wolves decreased dramatically even as the population of wolves nearly doubled (statement). While two Oregon wolves dispersed into Idaho, both were killed within weeks, demonstrating just how tough it is to be a wolf in that state (statement).

With only 53 known wolves in the entire state of Oregon (many of which are pups less than a year old) and the state no longer able to depend on healthy populations in neighboring states to bolster numbers here, conservationists caution recovery remains tenuous..

Maya the Wolf

Originally posted to Koscadia on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:52 PM PST.

Also republished by Liberal G Club.

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