Quantcast

Wyoming Expands Controversial Wolf Hunting Season

Animals
Neal Herbert / Yellowstone National Park

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved an expanded wolf hunting season Wednesday, with a goal of reducing the population to the bare minimum required to keep it off the endangered species list, Defenders of Wildlife reported.


The 2018 season expands on 2017's season, which was the first in Wyoming since a 2017 appeals court removed Wyoming wolves from protections under the Endangered Species Act and allowed the state to take control of the population, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

"The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Commission continue to focus on reducing the wolf population toward the bare minimum. Wolves are an important component of Wyoming's natural heritage, and should be managed toward achieving healthy and abundant populations across large landscapes so that they may perform their important natural role," Rockies & Plains Director at Defenders of Wildlife Jonathan Proctor said in a statement.

The 2018 season will allow hunters to kill a total of 58 wolves, a 14 wolf increase from the 2017 allowance of 44. It will also start one month earlier, in September, and allow individual hunters to kill up to two wolves, AP reported.

There are currently around 350 wolves in Wyoming, 210 of which live in areas of the state where hunting is permitted. The remaining wolves live in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, the National Elk Refuge and the Wind River Indian Reservation, where hunting is prohibited.

State officials want to reduce the 210 wolves in their jurisdiction down to 160, citing concerns about wolves preying on livestock.

Game and Fish wolf biologist Ken Mills said that bringing the number down to 160 would be consistent with the state's commitment to maintain at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs, according to AP.

But Defenders of Wildlife argued that culling wolf populations is not a scientifically sound strategy for limiting livestock killings. It also disrupts pack structure and is more expensive than other, non-lethal means of protecting livestock.

"Rather than increase the number of wolves to be killed, Wyoming should improve outreach on the important role of wolves in the state and further promote the use of coexistence techniques that prevent conflicts," Proctor said.

Defenders of Wildlife also pointed out that Wyoming has created no buffer zones around the national parks, meaning some wolf packs wonder between protected and unprotected areas.

Wolves were originally reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in the 1990s. Neighboring states of Idaho and Montana also allow wolf hunts, according to AP.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

Scientist Aaswath Raman long has been keen on discovering new sources of clean energy by creating novel materials that can make use of heat and light.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

The aloe vera plant is a succulent that stores water in its leaves in the form of a gel.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Attendees seen at the Inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration at Los Angeles Grand Park on Oct. 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images

By Malinda Maynor Lowery

Increasingly, Columbus Day is giving people pause.

Read More Show Less
Westend61 / Getty Images

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Hunger is your body's natural cue that it needs more food.

Read More Show Less
Young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change on Sept. 20 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

More than 58 million people currently living in the U.S. — 17 percent of the population — are of Latin-American descent. By 2065 that percentage is expected to rise to nearly a quarter. Hardly a monolith, this diverse group includes people with roots in dozens of countries; they or their ancestors might have arrived here at any point between the 1500s and today. They differ culturally, linguistically and politically.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Thu Thai Thanh / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Commonly consumed vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, peppers, carrots, and cabbage, provide abundant nutrients and flavors. It's no wonder that they're among the most popular varieties worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Petrochemical facilities in the Houston ship channel. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

Prigi Arisandi, who founded the environmental group Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation, picks through a heap of worn plastic packaging in Mojokerto, Indonesia. Reading the labels, he calls out where the trash originated: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada. The logos range from Nestlé to Bob's Red Mill, Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts.

The trash of rich nations has become the burden of poorer countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD

Caffeine's popularity as a natural stimulant is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less