Animal Rights Group Sues To Stop Wisconsin’s Fall Wolf Hunts
It’s been 45 years that Gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But with the number of wolves exceeding the minimum recovery goal requirement, they have since been fully delisted as of January 2021. Not including a 2-year delisting from 2012 to 2014. This has allowed many states to start conducting wolf hunts and controlling regulations surrounding wolves.
Wisconsin’s Wolf Hunting
During Wisconsin’s February wolf hunt, hunters and trappers took 216 wolves or 82 percent over the maximum state-set limit of 119 wolves. This along with the recent changes to wolf hunting regulations in Montana and Idaho triggered a lawsuit from animal rights advocates that was dismissed by the Biden Administration. This initial lawsuit was to reinstate wolves to the ESA.
Since Wisconsin’s first wolf season they have planned another season for the fall with a 300 wolf quota. The native tribes get one-half of the quota because of treaty rights, but tribal members oppose the hunt because they consider the wolf to be sacred.
DNR biologists recommended the quota be set at 130 wolves and with the Chippewa tribe claiming half, but not hunting that would leave the harvest of 65 wolves. Wisconsin’s DNR board set the quota to 300 meaning 150 wolves could be harvested, assuming that the Chippewa tribe would take half of the tags.
Now animal rights groups are again suing, claiming “The board ignored science and touted it’s responsibilities to protect Wisconsons’s wildlife.” The lawsuit is also to stop the Wisconson fall wolf hunt.
It seems that it’s a combination of hunters and farmers that want to limit wolf populations, and animal rights groups along with not being able to accurately judge the number of wolves in states will cause an uncertain outcome for wolves.
Wolf numbers have been at a constant increase since being places on the federal ESA. With the harvest of wolves becoming increasing, what effect will that have on the wolf population? But also without proper wolf population control what effect will that have on the depredation of livestock or big game animals such as elk and deer.
Can we learn to manage wolf populations before the delicate balance has gone too far in one direction? Check back for updates on this wolf debate.