Up until recently, the gray wolves living in the United States found themselves listed under the Endangered Species Act and benefited from legal protection against hunters' tracking them down and killing them.
Now that this is no longer the case, the country's gray wolves population is bound to plummet faster than one might expect, simply because people seem to have really taken a liking towards hunting these animals.
Mongabay informs us that, according to reports and estimates now made available to the general public, at least 1,500 such wolves were killed in the contiguous United States, excluding Alaska, in just 18 months’ time (i.e. since the animals were taken off the Endangered Species Act until present days).
According to the same source, the practice of hunting wolves was first resurrected in Montana and Idaho. Later on, the people living in Wyoming, Minnesota and Wisconsin also began killing these animals.
Furthermore, it looks like Michigan is now looking into the possibility of rolling out a wolf-hunting season.
For the time being, the only good news is that the ongoing legislation concerning wildlife protection supposedly controls how many gray wolves can be killed in each of the aforementioned states throughout the entire duration of a hunting season.
Still, the fact remains that, when these animals first made it on the Endangered Species Act, they only did so because people kept hunting and poisoning them all throughout the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Wildlife researchers explain that, as top predators, gray wolves are of utmost importance when it comes to maintaining the natural balance of various ecosystems across the United States.
Therefore, those responsible for giving the green light to hunting seasons aimed at killing these animals must always pay attention to how their decisions impact not just on the country's wolf population, but also on the natural ecosystems these wolves are a part of.