The wolf hunting season just began, and Yellowstone National Park’s famous Junction Butte Wolf Pack is already down three members. Two female pups and one female yearling were hunted down and killed within the first week of the season beginning, reducing the pack to 24 members as opposed to the previous 27.
Recent changes in federal legislation lifted the protection for grey wolves across the United States, allowing wolf hunters to use inhumane trapping and killing methods. This includes setting bait traps and hunting the wolves at night, which gives the hunters an unfair advantage over the animals. The hunting quota in Montana has also been raised to 450 wolves, which is about 40% of the state’s wolf population, according to data collected by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
These laws were passed in efforts to reduce the number of livestock and big game herds attacked and killed by wild wolves, but opponents of the new legislation fear this will lead to the grey wolves being put back on the endangered species list.
Some are pushing for the species to be put back on that list so they will once again be protected under federal law. As of now, grey wolves across the United States, including Yellowstone National Park, are vulnerable.
The Junction Butte wolf pack is famous among wildlife lovers, and every year thousands of visitors from around the world travel to Yellowstone just to glimpse the majestic animals. The pack’s den is in view of the park’s main roads.
The killing of these three pack members has made headlines, and opponents of the new legislation are speaking out. Cam Sholly, Yellowstone’s Superintendent, says the park is trying to protect its wolves by asking that protections for wolves around the park be reinstated.
We at Karmagawa and Save the Reef add our voices to those fighting to #relistwolves on the endangered species list. These innocent animals need our protection! The mass hunting of this beautiful species will have devastating effects on the environment and ecosystem. Like all animals, these wolves are needed for the health of our planet.
We stand with everyone who is using their power, platform, and voice to protect and defend innocent animals from being killed. Together, we can make changes for the good of animals all over the world!
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What do you think about this legislation? Should wolves be put back on the endangered species list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
(Cover image: Agnieszka Bacal/Shutterstock)