This post begins a new topic: Should the wolf be removed from the list of animals protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA)? The topic consists of five posts. If you came here via a link, you can navigate between posts by clicking on the arrows that appear above the post heading. The right arrow (→) always points to the next post; the left arrow (←) always points to the previous post. In this particular post, the right arrow is labeled Why Wolves are Important and points to the next post. The left arrow is labeled Gun Homicides vs. Gun Ownership and points to a previous topic.
The last three posts have footnotes which list my sources but also have additional notes and links, so you might want to take a look at them.
If you have a comment, please feel free to type it on the bottom of the post, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . All constructive criticism is most welcome!
Recently, I received an email from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
The future of America’s wolves is in jeopardy
The Obama Administration’s new proposal would scrap vital protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states. Help us send one million messages of opposition to this disastrous plan and give wolves a fighting chance at recovery!
The clock is ticking down for our nation’s wolves.
The Obama Administration has given the public just 90 days to comment on its disastrous plan to strip wolves of their vital Endangered Species Act protections across most of the Lower 48 states.
NRDC and other conservation groups have set an ambitious goal of generating one million messages of protest to stop this far-reaching assault on wolves.
Please do your part by telling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reverse its reckless plan and give wolves a fighting chance at recovery!
The return of gray wolves to areas like the Northern Rockies and the western Great Lakes has been one of the greatest conservation success stories of our time.
But wolves are only starting to return to large portions of their former range, like the Pacific Northwest. Lone wolves have crossed into California, Utah, Colorado and states in the Northeast.
Removing federal protections now would shut the door on wolf recovery long before the job is done.
This reckless plan, more the result of political pressure than sound science or policy, would throw national wolf recovery into reverse.
In fact, a group of the nation’s top wildlife scientists has sent a letter to the administration, objecting to its proposal.
Wolves will not recover unless they remain protected. That’s why it’s so critical that we keep the pressure on that agency to withdraw this horrendous plan.
Please send your message to the Fish and Wildlife Service right now. Call on them to keep wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act.
We’re at a crucial turning point in this fight — one that will determine whether wolves are allowed to survive and thrive in America. Thank you for making your voice heard in their defense.
Natural Resources Defense Council
I am not criticizing this request. It’s perfectly reasonable, and it asks citizens to speak up on behalf of a cause that they believe in. That is what democracy is all about. Nevertheless, the ad is wanting from a scientific perspective. It makes an assertion which it does not back up with evidence, although the evidence may indeed exist. That assertion is that while the wolf population in the lower 48 states has been allowed to recover, removing Endangered Species Act protections will reverse that recovery. As the email above puts it, “This reckless plan … would throw national wolf recovery into reverse. … Wolves will not recover unless they remain protected. … We’re at a crucial turning point in this fight — one that will determine whether wolves are allowed to survive and thrive in America.”
What is not clear from the email is what the Natural Resources Defense Council is predicting will happen if Endangered Species Act protection are lifted. Is it that wolf recovery will be arrested and wolf populations will be confined to where they exist now, or are they saying that the recovery is liable to being reversed, and that present wolf populations will shrink or disappear altogether? Let’s take a look at the position of wolves in America and estimate what might happen if Endangered Species Act protections are removed. But before we begin, let’s discuss why it is important to have wolves in our ecosystem in the first place, which in turn answers the question: why should we care? That will be the topic of my next post.