About Them: Gray Wolves also known as Timber Wolves have been in North America for a very long time. Wolves live in a pack that is basically a family group. It is a pair and their young year after year with a few other adults. Gray Wolves look a bit like German Shepards. They can range in color from black to gray to white, when in the gray tones they look the most like German Shepards. They have maintained living across Alaska, Canada, and the Western Great Lakes on their own, but there range is expanding as they remain on the Endangered Species List.
Their plight: Humans are the only problem for Gray Wolves. It is a very tough balance to reach with Gray Wolves having large enough populations that they seek out feeding on livestock. Wolves first went extinct from most of the lower 48 by hunting, trapping, and poisoning. It was only once we disallowed all of these things and reintroduced them into Yellow Stone that wolves began to gain healthy populations again.
In many of the lower 48 states the Gray Wolf does have healthy populations. There are enough that they are again becoming trouble for ranchers. However, they should be in more areas of the US and each State makes such drastically different choices about how to continue caution around the wolves keeps them on the Endangered Species Act.
What we should consider: It is very difficult to be a rancher living on acres of wilderness in Idaho and having a person from Washington DC tell you how you can take care of your land. I honestly don’t think it is truly understood how isolated some rural areas are. You are on your own. This lack of expressed compassion of this culture keeps a battle going on for endangered species like wolves. There needs to be a better way to accommodate individuals for property damage.
A wolf is a predator, a big predator. It is amazing to me that there is enough wilderness in the lower 48 for there to be over 4,000 wolves. The hope is to have them continue spreading out. More is needed to make sure all states are going to be able to successfully cooperate.
What is being done: The wolves are being kept on the Endangered Species Act. There is still a captive breeding program to help bolster current wolf populations and also to reintroduce them to more areas. Education and outreach is also present.
How to help: Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.
Support can be:
- donating to science groups
- helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
- being a citizen scientist through
- land restoration project
- trash clean ups
- species counts
- bio blitzes
- getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.
Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.
Further Reading, my sources:
[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]