Enviros claim thousands of wolves needed
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
September 23, 2007
Earthjustice, representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, and the Humane Society of the Untied States, submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposal to delist the Northern Rockies wolf population, calling the proposal “ill-advised and illegal.”
The letter stated: “Rather than building support for wolf population levels that could endure the vagaries of prey base boom-and-bust cycles, disease, climate change, uncertain funding, and hostile political climates, FWS is promoting the misconception that wolves are expendable and can be managed down to bare minimum population levels. Should delisting occur as FWS proposes, the immediate effect will be aggressive ‘control’ actions across much of the wolf’s current range in the Northern Rockies, resulting in the killing of hundreds of wolves representing the vast majority of the extant population.”
The letter asserted that the federal wildlife agency is jeopardizing western wolf populations with a distinct population segment (designation) and delisting proposal that violates the Endangered Species Act.
“The proposal is based on illegitimate demographic recovery standards; it ignores ongoing threats to wolves’ survival, including the inadequacy of existing state regulations to protect wolves post-delisting; and it fails to identify any reliable source of funding to implement management activities that the agency itself believes are necessary to maintain current wolf population levels,” the letter stated.
The Earthjustice letter claims that there are not enough wolves in the Northern Rockies to ensure population viability, since a total population of 2,500 to 5,000 wolves is necessary to ensure population viability.