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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Be the Change For Wolves

Wolf, (c) Gary Schultz, NGS

Why wolves?
Yellowstone National Park, 2007. Driving the main loop road, my husband, 16-year old son and I saw cars pulled to the side of the road. The real clue, though, that something cool was occuring was the large contingent of spotter telescopes and huge-lensed cameras. What could it be? Grizzly bear? Elk? Bison?

Across a conifer and grass swath, over a clear, rocky creek, and midway up a wooded hillside was, so we were told, a little pathway being used by a mother wolf to get to the creek. Boulders hid her den from view, but the spotters were very excited because she had been emerging at about this time for the past several days. We waited eagerly for a glimpse of the wild wolf. We knew that years of effort and gone into bringing these apex predators, a keystone species, back to the wilderness. I was also aware that the YNP biologists were documenting multiple ways that the wolves were restoring the health of the park ecosystem. One example was the return of  native aspens as the wolves began to bring the park's elk population back into balance.

 Then, a wolf emerged, and another, and another. Hushed but frenzied whispers announced that these were the pups, venturing from the den for the first time. With all the endearing clumsiness of puppies they made their way over the rocks to splash and play near the creek. Dozens of people observed in rapt stillness. Only the clicks of camera shutters were audible. Perhaps 10 or 15 minutes went by. Finally the mother guided her pups protectively back up the hillside. We had witnessed something rare and unforgettable and precious.

 Now, after all of conservationists passionate effort to reintroduce them to their native habitat, wolves are again being exterminated as vermin. This is happening in Idaho, Montana, and potentially soon in Wyoming. Here are some facts:

  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service has given Idaho permission to bring their wolf population below 200 animals. Idaho will allow every hunter to kill up to 12 wolves during the upcoming hunting season. 
  • Montana has killed a third of their wolf population since May. That's 260 wolves!
  • If Endangered Species Act protections are indeed removed from wolves in Wyoming this year, the state plans to allow hunting in a trophy game area next to Yellowstone, with the goal of killing 52 wolves. Yellowstone is not fenced, and its wildlife moves into and out of the borders of the park.
Be the change for wolves today. An excellent resource to learn how you can help is the Defenders of Wildlife website. Join the organization. Make a donation. Contact your Congresspersons. Contact the Dept. of the Interior. But please. Do something for the wolves. Be the change. 
A Note: I know, wolves are not dogs. They are, however, wild and beautiful creatures worthy of good management practices. There will be many blogs for change on behalf of dogs today. My passion today is to speak for the wild creatures who need our compassion.


Donna and the Dogs said... the change is for all animals, and the 23rd will be specifically set aside for rescued dogs - so this if you ask me, this is a great cause to highlight.

On an unrelated note, I am so shocked I stumbled upon your blog today. I too have a Toby, a yellow Lab from a shelter to be exact, who was also a terror, who I also trained to be a therapy dog at one time (but it didn't quite work out the way I planned) - I even wrote an (unpublished) memoir about my experience with him. How uncanny is that???

Nice to meet you! And I am soooo looking forward to exploring your blog and learning about your own Toby the terror turned therapy dog!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Toby, Jet here.

Nice to make your acquaintance, especially on a day like today.

Mom asked me to share that she signs petitions about this all the time.

Thanks for sharing... don't you wonder what those silly humans are thinking? We can't even bear the thought of killing anything (well except for mosquitoes) let alone getting permission for 12 wolves. ARGH...

BtC4animals said...

Thanks so much for Blogging the Change by spreading the word about the plight of wolves. This cause is so very near and dear to my heart as well. And please know that we never require a specific type of post for Blog the Change. I'm so glad you spoke your mind.

Kim Clune

Dogs N Pawz said...

What a cool story! That would be awesome to see a mom wolf and her pups:) And I think it is great that you chose to do Be the Change For Wolves!

Pup Fan said...

Great post - I always enjoy seeing the different causes that everyone chooses to focus on, and yours is no exception. Thank you for sharing this one today.


snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Killing Wolves or any animals totally baffles my Mum and I - why can't they just be left in peace, is that so hard?

Great post highlighting what's happening

Wags to all,

Your pal Snoopy :)

Anonymous said...

Incredible article, several months ago the wolf program: released followed a male wolf from Oregon to Northern California. The news did a great job to protect his location, yet allowed the readers to share his adventure.

Pam Torres said...

I have no idea that the protections that the wolves have are being systematically removed. This is a great topic for Blog The Change. By the way, I really liked your writing. Great job and I will be researching this important topic.

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