First, here’s an urgent message from Defenders of Wildlife:
…In the past year more than 400 wolves have been killed in Idaho, and last week the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved a proposal to pay Wildlife Services $50,000 to launch a new round of wolf killing – which could include aerial gunning of wolves under the excuse of artificially inflating elk herds to make hunting them easier. This death-by-helicopter or airplane plan is misguided and wrong!
Last year, Idaho called in Wildlife Services to kill wolves in the central part of the state to artificially boost game populations in the region – and it appears that they’re planning on doing it again…
Clearly, hunters want their cake and eat it too. Out of one side of their mouth they declare there are too many elk and that they are doing the animals a favor by killing them to prevent overgrazing. Yet when wolves spread out and successfully reclaim some of their former territories, hunters resent the competition and call for every brutal tactic imaginable to drive wolves back into the shadows, thereby restoring the imbalance that hunters depend on to justify their exploits.
The point of recovering endangered species should be to bring back and/or protect enough biodiversity to allow nature to function apart from human intervention. The presence of predators like wolves can help to restore a sense of natural order and nullify the claims by hunters that their sport is necessary to keep ungulate populations in check.
Wolves in Yellowstone have been keeping elk on the move enough to allow willows to thrive once again in places like the Lamar Valley. Newly emerging willow thickets in turn provide food and shelter for an array of species, from beavers to songbirds. The loss of each thread of biodiversity brings us one step closer to a mass extinction spasm that would wreak more destruction and animal suffering than the Earth has seen in some 50 million years.
Now more than ever we need to counter the hunter agenda at every turn, for the sake of a functioning planet. It’s time to put an end to the notion that wildlife are “property” of the states, to be “managed” as their “managers” see fit. The animals of the Earth are autonomous, each having a necessary role in nature. Only human arrogance would suppose it any other way.