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The Gray Wolf is still in Grave Danger

If we don’t ACT IMMEDIATELY we could lose them for good. The Biden Administration has the power to save Rocky Mountain wolves by restoring them to the Endangered Species List. And we need your help.

Photo by Ronan Donovan

On February 10, 2022, a federal judge restored federal protections to wolves in much of the contiguous United States. However, protections were not restored to wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region where over 80% of the slaughter occurs. Nearly 1,000 wolves have been hunted down in these states in the last year alone. We must do more to save the Northern Rockies wolves.

"Raise Your Voice" starring Jason Momoa and created by Sender Films for The #RelistWolves Campaign.

How we got here:

1974: Wolves became one of the first species protected under the Endangered Species Act after government sponsored hunts across the country decimated the population. As the species had a chance to recover, its numbers inched up to 6,000 across the continental U.S. 

2011: Congress removed ESA protections from Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming).

2020: The Trump administration delisted wolves nationwide (in the rest of the lower 48 states). This emboldened states like Idaho and Montana into passing legislation that both allows for and encourages the mass slaughter (up to 90%) of their wolf populations and permits extreme hunting methods like baiting, trapping, night hunting, and chasing down wolves with packs of dogs and ATVs. 

2021: The Biden Administration announced that they were backing President Trump’s decision to remove protections for Gray Wolves despite an estimated population decline of 27% - 33% in Wisconsin after the February 2021 hunts and credible reports of wolf pups being slaughtered in their dens in Idaho in summer 2021. On September 15, the Department of Interior determined the deteriorating situation in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region warranted a status review but failed to temporarily relist the wolves thereby, greenlighting the continued slaughter of wolves in the interim. 

2022: On February 10, a federal judge restored protections to wolves in much of the contiguous U.S., but not to wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region (where we see over 80% of the killings).  


Now is the time for President Biden and Interior Secretary Haaland to take action and restore federal protection to the Gray Wolf in the Rocky Mountains.

Where Hunts Are Happening

IDAHO

Idaho passed legislation in the spring of 2021 that incentivizes and sanctions the slaughter of 90% of Idaho’s wolf population using a variety of cruel tactics like chasing wolves with dogs and automobiles until they tire out.

The new laws went into effect in Idaho on July. In addition to ongoing private hunts, the USDA's Wildlife Services has slaughtered wolf pups. The Foundation for Wildlife Management has been using state funds to distribute bounties to hunters that successfully kill wolves. This season, 266 wolves have already been massacred in Idaho.

MONTANA

In Montana, the state government has sanctioned the killing of up to 85% of its wolf population starting in fall 2021.

The new laws allow for the use of choke-hold snares and extend trapping and hunting further into breeding season. This past year, Montana Governor Gianforte personally slaughtered a Yellowstone wolf in violation of state law and was given a warning by state agencies. So far 237 wolves have been confirmed to have been killed in Montana, including 25 Yellowstone wolves around the boundary of the park. Hunting on the border of Yellowstone National Park (Region 3) closed on February 17, after hunters hit the quota of 82 wolves killed in the region (yet 85 wolves have been killed to date).

WYOMING

Since 2017, wolf hunts have decimated Wyoming’s wolf population.  During the 2020 hunt, 119 wolves died in Wyoming. Only 327 wolves now remain in the state.

Nevertheless, Wyoming is allowing a virtually unregulated hunt in 2021. In 85% of the state -- including regions that border Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park -- hunters can slaughter wolves using “whatever means necessary,” including snares, explosives, and ATVS to capture and kill the animals.  

 
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Photo by Jake Davis

 
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