Removed from Endangered Species Act protections by the Trump administration, a policy continued with strong support from the Biden administration, wolves are now in crisis in the US. Legislative attacks in Montana and Idaho pave the way for the near extermination of Northern Rockies wolves. 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. Regardless of federal status, enhanced local support for wolves is required to ensure long-term recovery and decrease legal/illegal killing that jeopardizes wolf populations, their families, and their genetic viability in the future.
In addition to managing wolves nationally to ensure recovery across their historical range and genetic exchange between now isolated populations, Project Coyote is focusing immediate wolf protection efforts in strategic regions where they are most threatened by proposed trophy hunting and political ill will, such as Montana and Idaho.
The main goals are 1) separate Endangered Species Act emergency listing of wolves in the Northern Rockies 2) temporary injunction(s) or other legal outcomes to halt proposed lethal control of wolves mandated by recently passed legislation in Montana and Idaho, 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 the Department Interior Secretary for ESA listing; billboards; newspaper advertisements; paid media promotions; 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
- Join in strategic litigation efforts where needed
The most direct beneficiaries of wolf protection are wolf individuals, families, populations, genetics, and the whole species persistence in the Northern Rockies. Human communities living with or near wolves will also benefit from increased ecotourism for wolf-watching. If recovery of these important apex predators can be ensured at a level at which they contribute to ecosystem balance and function, benefits will also flow to all humans who rely on the services provided by intact and healthy ecosystems in which wolves thrive.
As apex predators that play vital ecological roles in restoring and promoting biodiversity and ecosystem health and function, imperiled wolves need restored protections now. 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 the Northern Rockies.
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, it will lay the groundwork for future initiatives to protect other carnivores and biodiversity broadly.