Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Bad Old Days Are Back

The wolf is one of the most hated species on the face of the earth, thanks to ignorance, misconception, and propaganda and lies actively created and spread for the purpose of keeping hatred of the animals alive.

By the 1970s, wolves in North America had been hunted to the brink of extinction. Then, in 1974, there came legal protection from the Endangered Species Act. The wolf population of the northern Rocky Mountains increased over the next 35 years. The population now numbers 1645 wolves.

Hundreds of scientists agree that the population needs to grow to 2500 to assure a sufficient gene pool for the health of the entire species. In other areas, where the wolf population is very low, wolves are showing severe physical defects because there simply is not any way for them to avoid inbreeding.

But the wolves have been de-listed from endangered species status. The government thinks that 150 wolves per state in the northern Rocky Mountain region is enough.

And so today the hunting begins. The hatred will be vented via high-powered rifles. And if you think all this isn't based in hatred, you haven't seen the posters people have created, comparing wolves to any and every icon of evil, such as Saddam Hussein.

There is a book, written by someone who actually observed real wolves in their real habitat. You may have heard of this book; it's called Never Cry Wolf, written by Farley Mowat. His extensive observations totally debunked the myth of the wolf as a wanton killer; he revealed the devoted family life of the wolf "pack", which actually is a family unit. The book is oddly hard to find; a search at amazon.com does not easily turn up the current in-print version. The link above will take you to exactly that page.

So with the wolf population nowhere near what it needs to be to be healthy, people are poised once again to ambush and decimate the population, tear apart family units, until the wolf is again on the brink of extinction. With only 1645 wolves across the entire northern Rocky Mountain region, 11,000 hunters have bought wolf hunting licenses in Idaho alone.

It is a sad day for both the wolf and man.

1 comment:

  1. "Idaho's #1 website for news and information" (that's what they call themselves) says they feel insulted by the New York Times. I say the New York Times can get things right sometimes. Here's a link to what the NYT said: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/02/opinion/02wed3.html#

    Since that link will soon stop working, I will say that the NYT said, in part,
    "The impact [the wolves] had on their ecosystem was extraordinary, and beneficial. ...

    "To us, the wolf hunt in Idaho and Montana seems indecent. Hunters want to kill wolves because wolves kill elk — and the human hunters want the elk. A second reason is a love of killing things. A third is an implacable, and unjustified, hostility to the wolf. It is well past time to let gray wolves find their own balance in the Rockies."

    That poor insulted Idahoans didn't actually respond; they just quickly changed the subject to partisan politics. That's always good for a distraction from what's really going on.

    The NYT did imply a bit of misinformation: The truth is that wolves do not merely prey on elk. See my post from September 2.