During the last week of February, hunters in Wisconsin slaughtered at least 216 gray wolves in just three days. The hunt resulted in 100 more wolves killed than the state-set quota — essentially overruling the decision by local tribes to conserve the wolf population by not using their share of the hunting permits. This happened because the Trump administration delisted the gray wolf in late 2020, stripping vital Endangered Species Act protections and allowing states to declare open season for wolf hunting. Those 216 wolves killed — an estimated 20% of Wisconsin’s wolf population —would still be contributing to their species’ recovery but for that misguided rollback.
We’re suing to restore protections for the wolves, but we need swift action before more hunts happen. Please join us in calling on the Biden administration to reverse the previous administration’s decision to needlessly endanger wolves across the country.
The Trump administration made its decision against the conclusions of scientists who say wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of the places they once inhabited and need continued federal protections in order to recover. The slaughter in Wisconsin echoes recent devastation in other regions where wolf management has been turned over to states hostile to the species’ recovery. In Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana—which don’t have federal protections for wolves--more than 3,500 wolves have been killed since 2011.
Wolves are crucial to the health of the ecosystems they occupy. After the government encouraged the extermination of wolves from Yellowstone in the 1920s, the deer and elk populations grew out of control. Swelling populations led to unsustainable grazing — which caused rampant soil erosion, the near disappearance of beavers, and population declines for antelope and foxes. The good news, for the country and for Yellowstone, is that when wolves were reintroduced in 1995, the ecosystem swiftly rebounded as wolves began to prey on deer and elk once more — which made room for all wildlife to flourish.
This is why we need the Biden administration to take responsibility for protecting wolves by reviewing and reversing the Trump administration’s actions. 1.8 million people spoke out against removing the wolf’s protections — and we need to rally that kind of support once more to reinstate the protections wolves need. Please join us in urging the Biden administration to restore Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.