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Untrapped Tuesdays Presents: Eco-hero #4, the Gray Wolf

photographer Julie Argyle

View the 4th video in our Engagement Through Film Series, “The Gray Wolf, Orchestrator of Balance,” to discover more about this Eco-hero ringleader and why we need them as much as they need us.

El Lobo Gris, Director del Equilibrio (Versión en Español)

One of the most referenced conservation success stories in the U.S. is the Yellowstone wolf. The successful reintroduction effort and population growth of the gray wolves themselves and the permeating effects that wolves have on the entire Yellowstone ecosystem resounds the conservation achievement. This story is not new to the communities within the greater Yellowstone region. However, it may surprise many that this notable achievement and point of pride are in jeopardy today.

Wolves have long been villainized by humans through folklore and perceived as a risk to livestock, people, or pets. This perception and misinformation are spread and absorbed by generation after generation and used again to justify persecution.

New regulations for trapping, snaring, and hunting of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain region are reminiscent of those during the 1900’s governmental extermination order for wolves, which resulted in their extirpation from the west. Today, wolves are killed without limit in 85% of Wyoming and hunted as trophies just outside of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

In addition to amplified wolf killing and human encroachment, wolves are now combating the effects of climate change. In the wake of these combined threats, we must learn to live in harmony with wolves and stop the needless killing.

We now know more about wolves, their roles in our ecosystems, and how to live with them. Effective non-lethal control measures for wolves and livestock conflicts are in place in many locations across the country. Successful management plans that provide landowners with long-term solutions without annual killing are now viable options. Studies have shown that wolves are not jeopardizing elk populations but rather helping cleanse the herd of disease.

Our communities are closely tied to the wildlife and wildlands of our region. We need to do our part to protect them. It is time for us to come together and implement wildlife coexistence and once again be the national example for conservation achievement. Join us!

Reach out to us for more information or interest in non-lethal wildlife management solutions.

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Wyoming Untrapped promotes trapping reform through education and advocacy for Wyoming’s people, pets, and wildlife. Join our cause and sign up for our newsletter today! Exceptional partners give wings to great ideas! This project was funded (or funded in part) by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole and Lush Cosmetics: Charity Pot.

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