Canadian grey wolves thriving too much for some in U.S.
It was a successful experiment in recovering an endangered species — too successful, for some, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now ponders lifting protections for transplanted Canadian grey wolves across the United States.
Almost two decades ago, the wolves were relocated to Yellowstone National Park in an effort to return them to where the animals had been hunted to extinction.
The change would result in hunting the nocturnal predators at a time when conservationists feel the animals are only beginning to gain a foothold and the federal agency is facing numerous lawsuits from those opposed to the wolf being removed from the endangered species list.
“I think it was successful in that it demonstrated that clearly it can be done,” Paul Paquet, a senior scientist at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, says of the reintroduction effort.
“Whether it can be sustained is where the questions is.”
The problem lies not in whether the wolves can adapt, says Paquet, but whether people who have lived without the top-tier predators for generations can do so. He believes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not lift the endangered designation.
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