Grey Wolves in the Northwest

16 08 2010

The Grey wolf was once a species that was abundant in Northwest territories but were eradicated by the early 1900’s. An ancestor of the domestic dog, these beautiful creatures weigh anywhere from 55 to 130 pounds, hunt and socialize in packs and help to control animal populations. Even as a top predator in the wild, the population of Grey wolfs has been dwindling in other parts of the country such as Wyoming, Montana and Wisconsin due to government-sponsored bounty payments and habitat loss to humans. There has been a great desire for the return of Grey wolves to the Northwest, but despite arguments made by many environmental and government agencies, thousands of individuals and local politicians such as Washington’s governor Christine Gregoire, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made no attempt to restore wolves to the Northwest.

Photo courtesy of Google images

Grey Wolves in the wild

Despite the fact that there is plenty of suitable habitat for wolves in Oregon, Washington and California, the government is hesitant to approve programs that would reintroduce the species due to complaints of local farmers who claim that the wolves attack their livestock and pose danger hazards. Fortunately, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the very few Grey wolves that are in Oregon are protected by the state Endangered Species Act, regardless of its status with the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also, in the states of Idaho and Montana, efforts over the past decade to protect Grey wolves has proven successful and they are now off the endangered species list in both states.

If you are interested in learning more about the efforts to restore the Grey Wolf populations in Oregon and the Northwest, sites such as “Defenders of Wildlife” and also the official site of “The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife” both include articles and detailed information and links on the issue at hand and how you can get involved!

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