Gray wolf, © Tracy Brooks/USFWS

Confirmed: Gray Wolf Shot and Killed in Utah was Grand Canyon visitor:

Gray wolf in Denali, © Didier Lindsey

Sad news this week: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed through DNA analysis that the endangered gray wolf shot dead in Utah late last year was indeed the lone female recently made famous for her journey through the Northern Rockies to the Grand Canyon. The wolf was illegally killed in December by a hunter who reportedly mistook her for a coyote. Unfortunately, events like this may become more frequent if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves forward with its plans to delist gray wolves in the Lower 48. Removing federal protections for wolves would give states the authority to manage them. And today, most states don’t even have plans in place to protect gray wolves, and those that do often focus more on killing wolves than protecting them or managing them responsibly. With patchwork protections for the species implemented at the discretion of each state, wolves will not be able to safely move across state lines, reducing the possibility that wolves will establish new populations in other areas of the country with suitable habitat – like the Grand Canyon.

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Bills to Delist Wolves in Wyoming and Great Lakes are Introduced in Congress:
Two separate pieces of legislation to eliminate federal protections for wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming were introduced in Congress this week. These two pieces of legislation, the first sponsored by Representative Kline (R-MN) focused on removing protections in the Great Lakes states, and the second by Representatives Ribble (R-WI) and Lummis (R-WY) that would encompass the Great Lakes and Wyoming both. These bills come just a few months after courts set aside rules that delisted wolves in those regions, keeping wolves protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In response, Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, said: “Congressional delisting of wolves under the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming and the Great Lakes will surely throw open the floodgates to endless proposals to delist additional species based upon politics and not science, undermining the integrity of the act and our ability to conserve the nation’s most imperiled wildlife.” You can help us by also telling Congress it must keep politics out of wolf recovery.