Protecting Imperiled Wolves in the Great Lakes Region Through Compassionate Conservation | One Earth
Protecting Imperiled Wolves in the Great Lakes Region Through Compassionate Conservation

Project Coyote Science Advisory Board members convene in Yellowstone National Park to strategize on carnivore conservation and rewilding the Northern Rockies- including the late Dr. Michael Soulé ~ considered the father of conservation biology. Image credit: Courtesy of Caroline Kraus

Protecting Imperiled Wolves in the Great Lakes Region Through Compassionate Conservation

Organization
Category Nature Conservation

There are five main project categories: Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers and community agriculture. Climate Change covers global science efforts, climate adaptation, and social justice work.

Realm Northern America

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Status urgent

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Ongoing indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$$$

$$$$ indicates a project between $250,000-$1 million.

Timeframe 18-24 Months
Partner Project Coyote

Removed from Endangered Species Act protections by the Trump administration, wolves are now in crisis in the US. Mass slaying and trophy-hunting of wolves have dramatically escalated, threatening to reverse decades of work to protect this important species. Proposed hunts in Wisconsin and Michigan will allow trapping, snaring, and hounding. As apex predators that play vital ecological roles in promoting biodiversity and ecosystem health, wolves need federal protections and a national recovery plan to stop egregious killing across their range. Enhanced local support for wolves is required, regardless of federal status, to ensure long-term recovery and decrease legal/illegal killing that jeopardizes wolf populations, their families, and their genetic viability in the future.

Project Coyote and allies are working hard to stop the proposed fall wolf hunt in Wisconsin through litigation and public pressure. Image credit: Courtesy of Camilla Fox

Project Coyote and allies are working hard to stop the proposed fall wolf hunt in Wisconsin through litigation and public pressure. Image credit: Courtesy of Camilla Fox

In addition to managing wolves nationally to ensure recovery across their historical range and genetic exchange between now isolated populations, Project Coyote is focusing its immediate wolf protection efforts in strategic regions where they are most threatened by proposed trophy hunting, cruel trapping and political ill will, such as Wisconsin.

The main goals are 1) Endangered Species Act emergency relisting of wolves, 2) temporary injunction(s) or other legal outcomes to halt proposed lethal control of wolves, and 3) promotion of respect and appreciation for wolves and their vital ecological role through media, social media, film, videos, billboards, and grassroots outreach.

  • Outreach campaign: Appeal to Department of Interior Secretary for relisting; media; film; video; contract media specialist; Science Advisors expert testimony
  • Public opinion research to identify best communication practices for target audiences
  • Lobbyist; local and remote organizers, purchase of subscriptions/support tools
  • Purchase and deployment of non-lethal deterrence toolkits with in-person workshops
  • Lawsuit challenging WI wolf policies using public trust doctrine

The most direct beneficiaries of wolf protection are wolf individuals, families, populations, genetics, and the whole species persistence in the US, as well as those who live with or near wolves. Those that value wolves also benefit from their recovery. If we can ensure the recovery of these important apex predators at a level at which they contribute to ecosystem balance and function, benefits will flow to all humans who rely on the services provided by intact and healthy ecosystems in which wolves thrive.

Project Coyote staff and volunteers rally in Washington DC to protect wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies. Image credit: Courtesy of Michele Chandler

Project Coyote staff and volunteers rally in Washington DC to protect wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies. Image credit: Courtesy of Michele Chandler

As apex predators that play vital ecological roles in restoring and promoting biodiversity and ecosystem health and function, imperiled wolves need restored protections now. Cruel traps, snares, and hounding violate all sense of respect for life and widely accepted animal welfare standards. Compassionately conserving this keystone species is an integral component of any landscape-level plan designed to meet resiliency goals in the face of climate and biodiversity crises in North America.

This project lays a foundation for the protection of other carnivores, all wildlife, and healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. By enhancing the community of humans that value wolves, we will lay the groundwork for future initiatives to protect other carnivores and biodiversity broadly.

Once federal protections for gray wolves were removed, management shifted to states, opening up trophy hunting, trapping, and baiting of these majestic and critically important apex predators. Image credit: Courtesy of Benjamin Olson

Project Coyote has already commenced work in the region through litigation filed with partnering organizations to stop scheduled wolf hunts in Wisconsin Notably, the two senior attorneys representing Project Coyote and co-plaintiffs in this case are talented women attorneys from two female-led law firms -- Animal & Earth Advocates and Green Fire Law.

Provide a major gift

Your contribution will help ensure the long term success of this important project. Gifts can be made as a tribute to a friend or family member and are tax-deductible for U.S. residents. Please contact us!