Thursday, December 2, 2010

Obama Administration: Remove Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf as Endangered Species

Gray wolf in Yellowstone

The Obama Administration has been giving thoughts of delisting the gray wolf and the grizzly bear from the endangered species list, an act that is likely to spark an outrage from environmentalists. The administrations intentions came up from an interview with two top officials from the Interior Department. Both, the wolf and the bear, inhabit the greater pinnacle of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem which consists of the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Previous attempts were made to remove them off the list, but were met with strong criticisms from wildlife conservation groups in court. Environmentalists have stated that the animals' recovery will falter if they were de-listed as endangered species, and viewed as big game animals. On the other side, sportsmen and ranchers have argued that the animals were diminishing the populations of other big game animals such as elk, and preying on domestic livestock.
Grizzly bear

The federal protection of wolves has remained controversial since the mid-1990s when they were reintroduced to Yellowstone. The federal government then removed the animals as endangered species in April 2009 in Idaho and Montana, while protecting those in Wyoming. In August 2010, a federal judge ordered a full re-listing of the animals. Grizzly bears, on the other hand, were removed from the list in 2007. However, environmentalists won last year after arguing that the federal government had failed to look at factors such as climate change and questioned whether 500 animals was viable. One of the advocates for de-listing the animals is Dan Strickland, an assistant interior secretary, who stated that the administration has planned to propose removing wolves and bears off the list and will seek action from the Congress if necessary. On the opposing side, environmentalists stated that the Congress should avoid the normal procedures of looking at the health of these animals, fearing that it may undermine the Endangered Species Act.

I'm very much in favor with the environmentalists on a subject like this. Just because a population of a certain endangered species reaches a particular maximum level does not mean that it should be de-listed as an endangered species. It is very important to look at the health factors, such as the mortality rate, the reproduction rate, the population state, etc. This should be considered in the case of gray wolves and grizzly bears. And I think it is helpful that the Congress should listen from environmentalists and wildlife conservation officials because they have the knowledge in understanding the population trends of North America's wild animals. That way, there will be less chances of violating the Endangered Species Act. I personally fear that if the Congress blindly gives out the final word of allowing the hunting of wolves and bears, it could draw some radicals and fanatics who would go about shooting these animals on sight however many times as they wish and not even care. This would lead to the violation of game laws, and even the Endangered Species Act.

View article here


  1. The administration employs the largest number of wildlife biologists with a long and detailed familiarity with all facets of both these species. They not only know that neither species is endangered worldwide but that in the specific areas in which wolves were reintroduced as an experiment and grizzlies were encouraged to grow their populations, there are widely robust numbers.

    This year saw the highest grizzly mortality on record due to overpopulated habitat not able to sustain numbers during a year of declining food sources. Wolves outnumber the target population by a factor of five or six. Scientists, state, and federal experts all agree it's time to manage out of control populations. As a lifelong conservationist I agree.

  2. Thanks for your comment. It's great to hear from a practicing conservationist. However, I'm against the idea of population control by hunting. There should be an alternative way to control the grizzly and wolf population, which doesn't involve taking a life.