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13 October 2011

Repudiation: Wolf Killers, Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife

This is not a fantasy tale of werewolves or something fun.  There are only fourteen wolves in the state of Oregon.  Those fourteen are about to drop to twelve, including the planned murder of the pack leader.

It is not easy to defend wolves.  Our society has a long history of vilifying the wolf.  The Brothers Grimm always had the wolf as the murderer.  We fear for our pets, our children, and our livestock if there are any wolves in a very wide vicinity.

Let's clear up some of the myths.  Wolves are very good at culling the weak and the elderly from wild herds of deer and other smaller animals.  They do not kill for sport or because an outer garment is a nice shade of red.  Wolves are an endangered species because, in our irrational fear, we have hunted them to near extinction.  Since being placed on the Endangered Species List, wolves have made somewhat of a comeback.  Still, we prefer to bring in sharp shooters to control deer populations than risk living with wolves within a hundred miles of us.  Wolves do not prefer human prey.  As scary as they are, wolves fear us even more than we fear them.  Wolves do not tend to spread diseases.

There are more myths out there.  Learn more about wolves from National Geographic, the International Wolf Center, Western Wolves, and Defenders of Wildlife.  While these are wild and sometimes dangerous animals, we do not have to live in terror of them.

For the moment, the hunt is on hold by court order.  That order may be lifted soon.  The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking help to stop the hunt.

The fewer species that we have on our planet, the thinner the web of life that supports and sustains us.  We need to stop wiping out species.  The latest Department of the Interior Report on Endangered or Threatened Wildlife and Plants in the Federal Register notes on its next to last page the loss of two more species in Florida:

Florida Fairy Shrimp and South Florida Rainbow Snake

Because the information presented by petitioners as well as information in our files suggests that the species are already extinct, they do not meet the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the Act (section 3(6) and 3(20), respectively). Therefore, an analysis of the five threat factors was not appropriate.

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