Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
A gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Danny Green/NPL/Minden Pictures
Yesterday, acting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, told state wildlife managers from across the nation who that in the coming days the Interior Department will propose the removal of the gray wolf’s endangered species status in the Lower 48 states. As the Denver Post reported, “the push to “de-list” wolves, immediately enraged wildlife advocates, who lamented that wolf howls still can’t be heard in prime habitat from the Grand Canyon to Colorado’s high country to the forests of the Pacific Northwest.” The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks where the public will be able to comment on it and will also likely reignite a bitter legal battle between conservation groups and the federal government.
The New York Times explained that gray wolf populations had dwindled to about 1,000 in the lower 48 states when they received protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. But since their reintroduction to various regions, mostly in the West, the wolves’ numbers have rebounded to about 5,000 and have even been spotted as far west as California. Gray wolves were perceived as a threat by ranchers and landowners and were extirpated from nearly all of their range through a campaign of bounty hunting, trapping, the killing of pups in the den with dynamite and even biological warfare as trappers introduced mange into wolf populations.
Why This Matters: Environmental groups don’t trust that wolves will be managed by states (after federal protections are lifted) in a sustainable and humane way considering the horrible ways they were killed previously. They also worry that this is a move to acquiesce to cattle ranchers and the oil and gas industry who view the gray wolf as a threat to cattle and an impediment to drilling. But wolves help keep the ecosystems they inhabit healthy, and as Western Watersheds Project director Erik Molvar told the Denver Post, “When wolves returned to Yellowstone, it re-calibrated the distribution of elk to the benefit of stream-side plant communities, beavers, songbirds and trout.” The Interior Department didn’t disclose their rationale for determining that the wolf populations have recovered, and many environmental groups contest this assertion.
This tiny owl is one lucky fella! He was plucked from the branches of the Christmas tree in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza by one of the workers putting it up. Dubbed Rockefeller, he is now being nursed back to health at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, and his caretakers are hoping to release him back into the […]
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission and its Southwest Water Management Division caught a record 2,000 Burmese pythons in Florida’s Everglades in just the first eight months of 2020. The good news is those snakes are gone. The bad news is there are that many Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Check out the cool photos of […]
Normalcy will return to the White House in January — the First Family will again have pets! The Bidens have two dogs, Champ and Major, and now an Instagram account with 60,000 followers, and even their own hashtag #DOTUS. The Obamas had two dogs, Sunny and Bo, and the Bushes had two cats and a […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.