That’s what; Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, said in a statement: “The DNR confuses ‘wolf recovery’ with ‘keeping wolves just above the brink of extinction.’ The population levels, still below pre-trophy hunt levels, are drastic, reckless, and unacceptable for responsible wolf recovery and vital genetic diversity.”
Results from an annual statewide MINNESOTA WOLF POPULATION UPDATE 2016 estimated at least 2,278 wolves in 439 wolf packs.
The following is a press release from Howling For Wolves:
Howling For Wolves responds to MN DNR wolf population estimates: DNR is mixing up ‘wolf recovery’ with ‘keeping wolves barely above the brink of extinction.’
(St. Paul, Minn) – Today the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its 2015-2016 wolf population estimates, reporting 439 wolf packs (2+ wolves equal a pack) and 2,278 wolves from the past winter. These results indicate Minnesota’s wolf population has not yet even recovered since the wolf trophy hunts of 2012-2014. The current population is below the 1998 estimates.
Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, said in response, “The DNR confuses ‘wolf recovery’ with ‘keeping wolves just above the brink of extinction.’ The population levels, still below pre-trophy hunt levels, are drastic, reckless, and unacceptable for responsible wolf recovery and vital genetic diversity.”
“We could lose the iconic gray wolf in Minnesota and, in turn, in the United States. We need to take recovery seriously as we have already decreased the genetic diversity with our drastic hunting ‘culls.’ We see what has happened to wolf packs in Alaska, Michigan’s Isle Royale, and other places as a major warning that we need to put forward increased efforts to let the wolf live by strengthening wolf recovery and preserving Endangered Species Act protections. Wolf policies that focus on killing the wolf, including trophy hunting and the trapping and lethal removal of wolves for suspicion of livestock conflicts, can destroy the entire gray wolf species,” said Hackett.
Currently, Minnesota wolves have federal protection. Yet despite this, the Minnesota DNR continues to keep a wolf hunting and trapping season on the books and ready for activation. They are listed as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. Wolves are killed by government agents when there is livestock predation. This change in status happened December 19, 2014 in a federal court ruling overturning a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist the Great Lakes wolf. Minnesota has had three consecutive wolf hunting and trapping seasons – in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Even the Minnesota DNR’s methods have suggested significant decline in wolf packs and population after three years of reckless trophy hunting. Currently, the total Minnesota wolf population trends are the lowest since 1988, with a potentially massive decrease in the genetic diversity needed for their future survivability. www.howlingforwolves.org for more information on this press release.