For Immediate Release, November 30, 2015
Contact: Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017, [email protected]
Second Wolf Killed in Utah Within a Year Highlights Need to
Maintain Endangered Species Act Protections for Gray Wolves
SALT LAKE CITY— An 89-pound female gray wolf killed earlier this month in a strangulation snare intended for a coyote was the second wolf killed in Utah in less than a year and the third in the southern Rockies. The most recent killing occurred on or around Nov. 7 in northeastern Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The previous wolf killed in Utah was shot on Dec. 28, 2014 by a hunter who claimed he thought it was a coyote. That wolf, nicknamed Echo, had been the first wolf documented at the Grand Canyon since the 1940s. The third wolf was killed in Colorado on April 29 by a hunter making the same claim. All three wolves had migrated south from the Northern Rockies wolf population found in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Overall an analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity found that since 1981, more than 50 dispersing wolves have been killed as they try to expand across a greater portion of their natural range.
“Utah should end its futile and brutal war on coyotes, which in turn has had a deadly effect on at least two wolves that have wandered into the state,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The loss of these three wolves is yet another grim reminder that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do more to protect dispersing wolves and foster further wolf recovery.”
Utah offers a bounty on coyotes, established at the behest of the state’s livestock industry ostensibly to increase the number of deer, even though the state acknowledges that weather and forage availability predominantly determine deer numbers and therefore that in most circumstances “predator removal won’t help deer populations to grow.”