Wolf Hunt in Wisconsin

As recently reported in National Geographic, a full third of the wolves in Wisconsin were killed after losing protection this year. Hunters took over 200 wolves in just a few days, and poaching took another 100 more, it is estimated, reducing the state's population from over a 1000 animals to around 695 individuals. The hunt follows the Trump administration's decision to delist wolves from the Endangered Species Act. This scale of hunting may have serious and permanent consequences for the state's wolves and may unbalance a fragile ecosystem anchored by these apex predators. In the wake of Wisconsin's hunt, both Montana and Idaho passed laws that allow for expanded wolf hunting. The law in Idaho may allow for the killing of up to 90% of the state's wolf population. This hunt in Wisconsin has drawn criticism from environmental groups and from scientists, as well hunters and wildlife managers who recognize the critical role healthy packs play in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Illegal poaching is also on the rise as protections ease, since poachers do not now fear the stiff penalties from poaching protected animals; high levels of illegal kill often accompany the delisting of animals from protection.


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