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PETITION TARGET: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In a proposal that could spell disaster for America’s fragile gray wolf populations, the Department of the Interior has announced plans to delist the majestic animals from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

If approved, wolves would be managed state by state, putting them in danger and at the mercy of trophy hunters.

In the Great Lakes region, gray wolves were delisted from 2011 to 2014. During those few years, nearly 1,500 wolves were murdered, often in horrific ways: mutilated in cable-neck snares and steel-jawed leg-hold traps, or hunted and ripped apart by hounds.

In Idaho and Montana, where wolves are not protected, more than 3,200 have been slaughtered in the last eight years.

Gray wolves have been protected by the ESA for more than 40 years. During that time, their numbers have increased to an estimated 5,600. But environmentalists and animal advocates state they are still at great risk, and removing their protections would be disastrous.

Hunting not only impacts the total numbers of wolves but also the structure of each pack and genetic diversity of the species.

In some areas, wolf populations have just started to recover, and the species is only present in five percent of their historic range.

Stripping protections from one of the United State’s most iconic species would be a national tragedy, and is nothing more than a free pass for hunters.

Sign the petition urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves on the endangered species list, preventing the wholesale slaughter of these iconic animals.