by Khadijah Rahim
Decades worth of efforts, not only in millions of dollars, but millions of individual’s efforts, time, and hope can be undone with the passing of Idaho’s new law allowing for the killing of up to 90% of the state’s wolves.
Yellowstone National Park, a place reborn in the 1990s when wolves, absent for 70 years, were reintroduced — with the wolves came only positive changes. Elk stopped standing around like cattle; they learned to run and live in the wild. Streamside willows and other riparian vegetation, previously trampled by the elk, returned as well, and with it, a migration of birds. All due to the presence of wolves!
Yet in the state of Idaho, new legislation signed by Governor Brad Little will allow for the killing of 90% of the state’s wolves, knocking them down from an estimated 1,500 to 150. Wildlife advocates have protected this act saying “statewide livestock losses to wolves have been under 1% for cattle and 3% for sheep. The group further noted that the overall elk population has actually increased since wolves were reintroduced into Idaho more than two decades ago,” (The Guardian). Yet, it made no difference.
The act will allow for wolves to be hunted just about any way from being shot from airplanes, helicopters, ATVs, and snow machines. Baiting and night hunting with spotlights will be permitted. It also allows for trapping and snaring wolves on private property year-round, and each hunter can purchase an unlimited number of tags for killing the predators.
Over the past half-century, wildlife around the world has dropped 68%. The human race, along with livestock, now accounts for more than 95% of all mammal biomass on Earth. Everything else, from whales to wolves to lions, tigers and bears – adds up to only roughly 4.2%. And with each day, and bills like these, that percentage continues to fall.
Three Instant Action Steps:
- Use your voice and make a change! Call Idaho’s governor, Brad Little, 208-334-2100, and tell him to stop the planned killing of Idaho’s wolves.
- Sign petitions and donate to Project Coyote (http://www.projectcoyote.org), an organization striving to protect wolves and educate the public about their importance.
- And lastly, educate yourself and others so you can pass on valuable knowledge to keep Earth’s animals thriving!