Nature Magazine: Grey wolves left out in cold (an excerpt)

By Chris WoolstonGibbon wolf pack standing on snow;Doug Smith;March 2007
September 11, 2013
US plan to remove federal protection elicits howls of protest.
Central Kentucky is coyote country. But the 33-kilo­gram animal shot by a hunter near Munfordville this spring was definitely not a coyote. Its huge paws, broad snout and massive build suggested that it was a grey wolf (Canis lupus) — the first to be shot in Kentucky in more than 150 years. DNA tests confirmed the animal’s identity in August.
The animal, a possible stray from hundreds of kilometres away in Michigan or Minnesota (although it cannot be ruled out that it was once captive), was also a player in a growing debate that mixes science, politics and passionate public opinion. From Kentucky to California, wolves are forcing biologists and policy-makers to re-examine the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the very definition of an ‘endangered’ species.
The act, introduced in 1973, was a landmark piece of legislation. Its purpose has been contentious ever since, but it is intended to save species “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion” of their range. Although wolves have never been at risk of extinction in the United States as a whole, those in the 48 contiguous states were classified as endangered in 1978.

2 thoughts on “Nature Magazine: Grey wolves left out in cold (an excerpt)

  1. terri vandehey says:

    Stop killing our wolves they have the right to live and run free!!

  2. karen says:

    It is abundantely clear from the research I have read, that scientists have this right.  Not politicians, not hunters, nor ranchers.  Why is it that something that is part of us, an ecosystem, is allowed to be slaughtered is beyond me.  We belong to the wolves and the wolves belong here.  Just like elk, just like cattle, just like deer, just like humans.  Why we are even having to engage in this battle is complete nonsense if humans would do the right thing. Pocket books and greed must not be the influence.  Nature will run its course, with or without the wolf.  I don't want to be around if its without.  Stop the killing, or we will be very sorry in the end.

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