While a federal judge has reversed the Trump Administration-era legislation of removing grey wolves from the Endangered Species List, wolves are in crisis in the US. They still are cruelly trophy-hunted, trapped, and targets in many states like Wisconsin.
Wolves are only safe as long as federal protections remain, and history shows that they often do not stay long. As apex predators that play vital ecological roles in promoting biodiversity and ecosystem health, wolves need long-term, permanent 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 and illegal killing that jeopardizes wolf populations, their families, and their genetic viability in the future.
Project Coyote focuses its immediate wolf protection efforts in strategic regions where they are most threatened by intolerance and political ill will.
The main goals of this project are to 1) create a robust, science-based national recovery plan, 2) establish federal legislation and permanent protections, and 3) promote respect and appreciation for wolves and their vital ecological role through media, social media, film, videos, billboards, grassroots outreach, etc.
These goals will be achieved through:
- An outreach campaign: appealing to the Department of Interior Secretary for a recovery plan using Science Advisors' expert testimony.
- Public opinion research: identifying the best communication practices for target audiences.
- Lobbyists: finding federal sponsors for legislative protection and local and remote organizers.
- Purchases: deploying non-lethal deterrence toolkits with in-person workshops.
- Lawsuits: challenging Wisconsin wolf policies using public trust doctrine and challenging Act 169 that requires a wolf hunt.
The most direct beneficiaries of wolf protection are wolf individuals, families, populations, genetics, the whole species in the US, and those who live with or near wolves. Those who value wolves also benefit from their recovery. If we can ensure the recovery of these important apex predators at a level that contributes 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.
As apex predators, wolves play a vital ecological role in restoring and promoting biodiversity and ecosystem health and function. Imperiled wolves need permanent protection. 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 North America's climate and biodiversity crises.
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.
This project lays a foundation for protecting 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 broadly protect other carnivores and biodiversity.