Some see them as a threat to humanity Others think they are the epitome of evilr They are feared for their cunning, disguised as grandmothers to devour helpless little girls. They are notorious for their ferocity, able to blow down houses of straw or sticks in a single breath. They are wolves. Prejudices against wolves have built up for centuries. In ancient cultures they were known as “hell-hounds.” And yet even in a nation with people as open-minded as in the United States, the prejudices have not dissipated, and wolves are still demonized.
In 1907, in the U.S., there was a call for the total extinction of the species. And even today, more than a century later, persecution of wolves has not stopped. I am talking about a bill that will take wolves off of the Endangered Species List. Doing this would essentially remove all protection from wolves in the US Some may think that is not such a bad thing, after all, “Don’t wolves pose a serious threat to people as well as livestock?” First of all, there is no documented account of a healthy wolf ever attacking a human.
The stories of wolves hunting humans, like Little Red Riding Hood, are just that, storiest They have no bearing on the behaviors of real wolves. In actuality, wolves are shy creatures who pose practically no threat to humans. The threat wolves pose to livestock is more serious, however. It is true that wolves will go after a cow for an easy meal.
But in the long—run, wolves actually help ranchers more than hurt them. Multiple studies, including one from Ohio State University, have shown that in ecosystems where wolves have been wiped out, the whole environment suffers. This is because without wolves, elk populations skyrocket, leading to overgrazing, which contributes to erosion, and, as an indirect effect, also takes food from the cows of anxious ranchers. The same has been seen in reverse. Three years after wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park, elk populations fell, pockets of trees and shrubs began rebounding. Wolves checked coyote populations as well, allowing for an upsurge of birds and beavers Ecosystems are extraordinarily complex and many species rely on each other Placing wolves on the Endangered Species List restored the natural order of the ecosystem.
Taking them off and allowing them to be hunted to near extinction once again may have far- reaching consequences that we can not foresee. Many proponents of the bill claim that wolf populations have far exceeded the goal that was set when they were put on the list. Now, they say, individual states should be able to set their own limits on wolf hunting, However, knowing the hunting preferences of former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, it is difficult to expect responsible wolf-hunting policies from all state governments Palin is a known proponent of a type of hunting called “aerial wolf gunning,” which consists of shooting a wolf from a helicopter or small plane. This practice became illegal in 1971, but Alaskans have found a loophole Instead of shooting the wolves from a plane, which, if nothing else, takes skill, aerial wolf gunning now consists of following the wolf in a plane until it collapses from exhaustion, then landing and shaming the exhausted wolf, point»blanki Palin has invested extensive funds into making this “sport” (if it can even be called sport) popular. Wolves have been maligned and feared for centuries, even though they pose essentially no risk to humans, Without them, ecosystems deteriorate, affecting ranchers as well as the health of the forests. [t is crucial that we oppose the bill to remove wolves from the Endangered Species Listt