Gray Wolf may no longer be endangered?!
For over 30 years Gray Wolves have been federally protected in the United States. If the United States government has its way – that will all change. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list!
Gray wolves were originally added onto the list in the 1970s when the endangered species list was first created. The number of wolves had dwindled in certain areas around the United States…and in some specific areas (such as the northern Rocky Mountains) they had become nearly extinct by the 1940s! So when the endangered species list was started in the 1970s, they became one of the first animals added to the list. Since then their numbers skyrocketed! In fact, in 2012 there were so many wolves in some areas – specifically the western Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains, that they were taken off the protected list in those states.
Today the federal government thinks they have recovered in numbers enough to remove them from protection nation-wide! At this point, taking the grey wolves off the endangered list is still a proposal, but one that the federal government is pushing for…and this is good and bad news.
The good news: The wolf population has clearly grown to comfortable levels in the United States. We are not in danger of losing them for good. Wolves are alive, living and roaming in the wild, and there are well established populations of them in the United States. You might even see one out in the wild if you are lucky and live in their habitat!
The bad news: If they’re taken off the protected list, this could open the doors for humans to again bring them near extinction. They will be sought out for their beautiful coats, for the thrill of the chase, and for sport. This magnificent creature could again start to dwindle in numbers in the United States if humans aren’t careful.
What will happen is unclear…although the government is moving to have them taken of the list, alot of feedback seems to suggest that many people want to keep them on it, protected from man. We’ll see what 2014 brings for the wolf….