One of Yellowstone's beloved wolves killed - Don't let her death be in vain

Wolf 527 was beloved by wolf-watchers and wildlife biologists who chronicled her courageous life. Sadly, she was also one of the first wolves killed in October -- during Montana's first wolf hunt in modern times.

Wolf 527 originated from the Druid pack -- one of the best known wolf packs in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley, the scene of numerous National Geographic and PBS documentaries.

"527 was a wolf that marched to the beat of a very different drummer." As a yearling, 527 left the Druids to join the Slough pack -- where she quickly became the beta (second-in-command) female. Then in 2007, she and a male wolf set off to found their own pack -- the Cottonwood Creek pack -- where she became the alpha (first-in-command) female.

Hundreds of wolves across Montana and Idaho could soon share the same cruel fate as Yellowstone's Wolf 527 -- unless they are swiftly granted federal protection. So please take the important wolf-saving action of sending this message to Interior Secretary Salazar while there is still time to call off the guns.


Tell the Interior Secretary, "Call off the Guns! Put Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List!"


As a leader of the Cottonwood pack, 527 was known to be a master of survival strategies. While four other packs that inhabited the same area suffered dismal fates, her pack thrived. As her biographer recounts, "She was a genius wolf in her tactics. Strategy was her game and she was a master at it. She would return to feed her pups in the dark of night because she would not take the risk of crossing the road."

But in the end, despite 527's "unbelievable survival strategies," this resilient wolf "was not able to outthink a rifle" and was killed on October 3 when Montana unleashed its first public wolf hunt in modern times.

Since the public hunts began, 156 wolves in the Northern Rockies have met 527's fate. And over the next year, more than 500 wolves could be shot to death by hunters and government agents ... reducing the region's wolf population by a staggering 40 percent!

But the story doesn't have to end as sadly as 527's life -- if everyone who cares about wolves speaks out against this carnage now.

Dear Secretary Ken Salazar

I am outraged that you have carried out the Bush Administration's plan to take gray wolves off the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho, leaving them vulnerable to mass killing. In so doing, you have abandoned President Obama's pledge to follow a science-based approach to environmental protection.


According to a letter signed by some 230 scientists, a severe reduction in current wolf numbers would dramatically increase the threat of extinction for a gray wolf population that is still recovering. By handing wolf management back to the states, you've paved the way for the first public hunting of wolves in decades.  These hunts, combined with other state programs,have already killed 325 wolves -- and could ultimately destroy 40 percent of the entire population. That is not sound science, it's a disaster.


Wolves once thrived in much of the lower 48 states. Today, they reside in only five percent of their former range. If there is one place in this country where they should be allowed to flourish, it is in and around Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and the remote Selway Bitterroot ecosystem in central Idaho.


I urge you to restore the wolf's protection under the Endangered Species Act and submit your plan to rigorous scientific review. The wolves of the Northern Rockies are world-renowned as living icons of the American West. Please call off the guns and develop a sound wolf recovery plan that ensures a healthy future for these magnificent creatures.

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