Friday, April 4, 2008

Yellowstone under attack

Two alerts from Defenders of Wildlife this week:

The Yellowstone Bison slaughter, and the killing of wolves in the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain regions.
According to the American Bison is listed as "Lower Risk" in conservation status...but that lower risk comes with the title "Conservation Dependant." So, if these animals depend on our conservation efforts in order to thrive, why do park officials chase wandering buffalo back into the park where they can't find food in winter, or ship them off to be slaughtered? Because of unfounded fears that Buffalo (or Bison if you prefer), which belong to the same family as domestic cattle will pass along diseases to domestic cattle. The disease Brucellosis can be passed from animals to animals and animals to humans by intact skin contact...that means it's highly contagious, kids. But that doesn't seem like a good enough reason to me. The thing that strikes me most about the issue is that as near as I can tell, while Canada has completely eradicated the disease in their country, the United States doesn't seem to even require ranchers to vaccinate their animals against it! And we're going to kill the BUFFALO? Cause yeah, its their fault!
Now, I'm not a big fan of vaccinating wild animals against diseases (other than rabies, perhaps) but to me this seems like a case where vaccination of wild elk (which can also harbor the disease) and bison herds might be the lesser of two evils.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program: Rocky Mountain Wolves.
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone and parts of Idaho and Montana has been one of the greatest endangered species recovery success stories of all time. So great, in fact, that the Bush Administration has been fighting to de-list them (prematurely, in the eyes of many conservationists) and last week Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming took over 'management' of the 1200 some wolves living in their states. To people like Idaho Governor Butch Otter (You can email his office here) this de-listing reads like an invitation to slaughter, and officials in Wyoming are planning to kill wolves on sight in as much as 88% of the state, including zeroing out (that means eradicating) entire wolf packs.
By comparison, Minnesota, which shares its 3500 wolves with Michigan and Wisconsin, manages its own wolf population and has set a minimum population limit of 1600...that's more wolves than live in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to begin with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If they do not stop the attacks on Innocent Protected Animals, Heed MY Words they Will be Attacked.