At least eight Yellowstone National Park wolves have been shot and killed along the park boundary since hunting season began. Five of these animals were wearing radio collars and were the subjects of intensive conservation research study.
Wolves roam widely in search of food or mates. It's natural for them to occasionally wander briefly outside the park's invisible borders, but that shouldn't make them fair game for hunters.
The killing of Yellowstone wolves is unconscionable. Tell the governors of the surrounding states to shut down the wolf hunt immediately in lands adjacent to the park.
Photo copyright: USFWS - William C. Campbell
I am writing today to urge you to immediately halt the killing of wolves from Yellowstone National Park.
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Specifically, I ask that your state's wildlife management agency work with federal and state wolf biologists to establish a permanent buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park that would be closed to all wolf hunting and trapping. These buffers should be large enough to protect those wolves that spend the majority of their time within the park, but occasionally stray outside its invisible boundaries. These park wolves are particularly vulnerable to hunting on the edges of the park because they become used to encountering park visitors.
As you know, at least eight wolves from Yellowstone packs have been shot and killed along the park boundary since hunting season began. Five of those wolves had radio collars and were the subjects of intensive conservation research study.
Yellowstone's wolves generate significant revenue from tourism for your region each year. The wolf research programs underway in the park are yielding critical knowledge about wolf behavior and conservation. Permitting these wolves to be killed along the park boundary is fundamentally against the conservation and tourism interests of your state.
The restoration of wolves has been hailed as one of the greatest successes of the Endangered Species Act. Wolves are a keystone species. The return of wolves to this region has set in motion a wave of ecological recovery that will restore balance to many of your forests.
The states around Yellowstone are places of iconic natural beauty, abundant natural resources, and plentiful wildlife. Yellowstone National Park is the jewel in the crown of American parks and the envy of the world. Protecting the park's wolves, one of its greatest attractions, is a natural and important step and maintaining long-standing wolf research studies in the park is essential to better understanding the role that wolves play in nature.
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