Gray Wolves are Being Killed in the Northern Rockies

A harmful network of state policies and practices threatens packs of gray wolves across the American West.

Colfelly |

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As Colorado gears up to reintroduce wolves to the Southern Rockies and embarks on a comprehensive species restoration and management plan, the gray wolf continues to face threats in states to the north. According to reports, at least one wolf from Colorado’s first breeding pack in 80 years has been killed in Wyoming, and the species is under attack in nearby states.

If policies and practices don’t change, hundreds of wolves will die, driving down their already-dwindling numbers. Gray wolves that wander north, following their instinct and oblivious to state lines, immediately lose their protections as “State Endangered” species and, if found within Wyoming’s 53-million acre “predator zone,” may be legally killed by ranchers or hunters whose identity remains confidential under state law.

To make matters more dire for the gray wolf, Idaho is moving to cut down more than half of the state’s 1,300 wolves through the state’s Fish and Game department. The plan sanctions wolf hunting and trapping and aims to reduce the wolf population from around 1,300 to a mere 500. Notably, it ignores the strong opposition that was gathered through public comments.

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In Oregon, the euphemistically named “Wildlife Services” killed six wolves this summer. Captured in painful leghold traps, the wolves suffered needlessly before they were shot to death under a state-sanctioned policy and department supported by taxpayer dollars.

This killing is not only tragically ripping apart wolf packs, it’s disrupting the balance of ecosystems across the American West. When we save wolves, we restore wildlife and wild places.

We are organizing across multiple fronts to win lasting protections for the gray wolf:

  1. We are calling on the Biden administration to restore federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across the Lower 48, including those currently being hunted in the Northern Rockies. Gray wolves are currently at the mercy of a network of inconsistent state policies that pose a threat to reintroduced species who disperse across state lines and unprotected predator zones. Federal protections would facilitate ecosystem restoration by sheltering the gray wolf across its full western American habitat.
  2. Our advocates are building grassroots energy in support of our campaign to stop Wildlife Services from killing wolves with taxpayer dollars
  3. Across individual states, we are pushing for actions to minimize the number of wolves that are being killed before federal protections are restored.

Wolf-lovers across the country have joined Environmental Action in sending more than 300,000 messages to decision-makers in support of protections for wolves.

But with the lives of wolves in the balance, we need to do more and we can’t do it without you.

Help us defend wolves from hunting and trapping


Help us defend wolves from hunting and trapping

Hundreds of wolves are being killed this winter across the Northern Rockies. They're being hunted down from aircraft, lured out of the safety of Yellowstone National Park, and maybe even burned alive in their dens.


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