A Week for Wolves and Refuges
Throughout the United States are a number of wolfish events for you to attend, including the Red Wolf Howl-O-Day in North Carolina, free tours at Wolf Haven International in Washington, and a series of documentary premieres, discussions and events at the Wolf Conservation Center in New York.
The purpose of having these weeks is to raise awareness and educate people about the issues at hand. Wolves have been misrepresented for decades and almost hunted to the brink of extinction at one point. Once completely covering the US map, their numbers have dwindled and are greatly limited to a few corners. Many of the Gray Wolves are teetering on the edge of wavering protections, shifting from endangered to unprotected status at every court hearing they go through. Whether in the Great Lakes region, Yellowstone Park or the Pacific Northwest, no wild wolf is safe anymore. Those that live in Alaska are especially doomed, thanks to the poorly thought out aerial hunting scheme.
Red Wolves have it especially bad, as there are approximately 300 left in the world. These wolves are critically endangered; about 2/3rds of their remaining population is currently in captivity. The Mexican Wolf—which is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf—is also critically endangered, with about 300 left as well. However, unlike the Red Wolf, all of the Mexican Wolves are currently captive; living and breeding in recovery facilities.
There is absolutely no good reason for these amazing animals to be faced with such a grim fate. And not only are the adults in danger, but their pups have been victims of the slaughter as well. Not to mention, there has never been a documented case of a healthy wolf attacking a person. Domesticated dogs, however, are another story entirely. And let’s not get into what happens during a predatory decline again—killing off one predator will only make more room for the other scavengers and hunters.
Refuges are also an issue, as politicians and others have been trying for years to open them up to drilling, forestry and even hunting holidays. It does not matter how threatened, endangered or sacred the land or species within a refuge may be, so long as the government gets their easy way out and big industries have quick access to an easy profit, who cares, right?
Things need to be dealt with now, and in order to do so properly, people need to be informed of the facts. That is where these events come in.
Be sure to check out the links throughout the article for information on events in your area. This week, get out; learn something about the world around you, the animals in it, and how you can help save them!
By Heidi Marshall