Saturday, January 27, 2007

Man's Best Friend?

For the past 33 years the gray wolf has been on the Endangered Species list. It needed to be placed there because mankind had decimated its numbers close to the point of extinction. Now that its numbers are on the rise again, the US Fish & Wildlife Service is preparing to allow the gray wolf to be pushed toward extinction again.

Unlike deer, most people don't shoot wolves for food; they do it to "protect" their prized herds or, even worse, for sport.

I can't think of a crazier idea than this. We spend 30+ years working to undo an injustice against another species only to buck the numbers up so we can commit the same injustice all over again.

It's madness!


  1. That's definitely wrong, to take the wolf off the endangered species list. (BTW I couldn't get your link to work, so I'm just responding to your post itself.) Like you said, wolves are often a deliberate target; they need protection.

  2. That's weird. I tried the link from FireFox and it works just fine. However, when I tried it with my secondary browser, Opera, it didn't go through. Why would the chosen web browser make a difference?

  3. I changed the link. Hopefully, this will solve the problem.

  4. I see your point, but respectfully disagree. There is not an infinite capacity on the endangered species list (at least realistically). While at one point the gray wolf indeed needed to be put there, because the crisis is over, it no longer needs to stay. If that crisis returns, then yes, it will need to return to the list, but for now the list needs to be reserved for animals in greater danger.

    We may well be undoing a lot of hard work, but leaving animals on the list who don't need to be there undermines the value of the endangered species list in the first place.

  5. Oh, and by the way, I don't read blogs.

    However, I found this blog about a week ago and have been reading it faithfully. Very interesting and insightful. ;)

  6. Brandon,
    Point well taken. I didn't mean to suggest the gray wolf should remain on the ESL, rather that the system itself is crazy. An animal is either protected or it's fair game for anyone to kill. There seems to be no middle ground.

    It almost seems like we saved this species, not for its own intrinsic value, but to bump its numbers up so we could kill again for awhile without worry.

  7. That, I will definitely agree with. What middle ground could there be, though? A "partially protected" list? Perhaps I am being too preoccupied with the logistics, but I just don't see how in our era of varied social crises, legislation could squeak past the high volume of gun-toting hunters that would protect predators that *aren't* endangered. Meh.

    I will agree with you that the system's crazy and short-sighted.

  8. Hmm, I didn't phrase that quite like I meant it. Rather, that there are more important things afoot, and there wouldn't be enough concern for non-endangered predators to combat the resistance that gun-toting Republicans would put up.


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