It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the news that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed the last two remaining members of the Wedge wolf pack on August 13th. This is sadly due to conflicts between wolves and livestock. Despite public outcry from around the world to change how the department manages endangered species throughout the state, WDFW still went ahead and killed the last two remaining members of the wolf pack.
“The nonstop killing of wolves in Washington has to end now,” Sophia Ressler, Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “These wolves shouldn’t be gunned down just for trying to feed their families. It’s ludicrous that Washington officials aren’t implementing appropriate preventive measures and instead choose to slaughter a state endangered species.”
The state has now killed 34 wolves, almost all of them for livestock conflicts in the Kettle River Range, an area of prime wolf habitat. Twenty-nine of the wolves killed have been for the same livestock owner.
Washington is killing endangered species so that livestock can be killed for their meat for human consumption. This should be illegal.
The most recently eradicated Wedge pack wolves occupied very similar territory to the previous Wedge pack. The department killed seven of that eight-member pack in 2012, effectively destroying it. Yet, the 2012 eradication failed to prevent wolves from quickly reoccupying the territory.
The Center for Biological Diversity and several other conservation groups have urged Washington Governor Jay Inslee to require formal rules that would dictate required nonlethal deterrence measures and extra steps that must be taken in areas of chronic conflict. The current guidelines are created by Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group and are not considered enforceable requirements by the state.
Just last week, the state removed a vocal wolf advocate from the advisory group for disagreeing with the department’s choices. This decision outraged conservation groups and prompted a new call to Governor Inslee for wolf-management reform.
“There is no scientific support that killing wolves is an effective long-term solution for preventing conflict,” continued Ressler. “Mandating effective range riding or other appropriate deterrence measures would help to deter conflict and, in turn, save both wolves and livestock.”
The state also has an active kill order out for wolves in the Leadpoint pack, whose territory borders the Wedge pack’s territory.
The killing of these endangered wolves to satisfy human greed is unfathomably, sickening, senseless, and must end.
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
TTY/TDD call 711 or
Thank you for speaking on behalf of the voiceless!