Recently, the grey wolf lost its endangered species designation in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and previously the ban was lifted in 5 western states. The American grey wolf population is now estimated to be at 6,200. Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey say grey wolves are in the best position they have been in the last 100 years. Nevertheless, the layman in me thinks that those numbers are low.
The grey wolf has been taken off of the endangered species list, because their population has reached optimal numbers for the ecosystem. Hunters and ranchers are concerned with attacks on livestock and big game. Now, the extent of the protection given to grey wolves will be determined by the states.
The endangered species list is amusing, because I don’t know what animal’s population is on the decline until it is on the list. At that point, the federal government scrambles to protect the endangered animal. Then when an animal is taken off the list, environmentalists become worried; animals that are removed from the endangered species list face declines in funding and decreases in legislative protection.
On another note, I saw a fox last week. It made me smile.
- APNewsBreak: Feds to drop Great Lakes wolf listing (sfgate.com)
- Wolves Rebound But Future Uncertain (myfoxny.com)
- Gray wolves soon to fend for themselves (cbsnews.com)