Wolves are finally making a comeback. Monogamous, beautiful wolves that keep ecosystems in check, by eating the (yes, adorable) deer and elk that eat the shrubbery by the rivers and streams, leaving the waterways denuded and changed (heat, erosion, loss of beaver habitat, etc.).
But even though there are less lethal ways to protect livestock (information on nonlethal methods), some ranchers in Washington not only can’t be bothered, they are going out of there way to ensure that the wolves are killed.
…”It’s been a sickening week in the Pacific Northwest,” writes Noah Greenwald, the endangered species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Snipers, including gunners in helicopters, have snuffed out half of Washington state’s Profanity Peak wolf pack and have put the rest of the pack in the crosshairs.” …
Local researchers report that photographs prove McIrvin herded his cattle to graze on land directly atop the pack’s den, notes the Seattle Times.
“This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site; we have pictures of cows swamping it, I just want people to know,” said Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, to the newspaper.
The Seattle Times reports:
The cattle pushed out the wolves’ native prey of deer, and with a den full of young to feed, what came next was predictable, Wielgus said. ….
The state of Oregon recently delisted wolves as endangered, although state statutes still offer some protection, as does the federal government.