Conservation groups are in an uproar over Montana’s decision to issue over 6000 permits to hunt the last 625 remaining wolves in the state. In addition to 6000 permits, the state loosened regulations governing the hunting of the animals.
This year, the fee for a license to kill a wolf in the state of Montana was dropped to only $19. Each hunter is allowed to kill up to five wolves, and the period in which they are hunted has been extended.
At the beginning of this year, there were only 625 wolves in Montana, a slight drop from the year before. If only 2.1% of hunters issued a permit this year reach their bag limit, the wolf will disappear from Montana altogether. As wolves are pack animals, a single hunter will likely be able to kill several wolves in a single trip.
In the 1990s, wolves in Montana were hunted to the point that Canadian wolves had to be brought in to supplement the numbers. State officials have decided to drive down the number of wolves in the state, though have not set a clear plan on the number where they would like the population’s numbers.
In stark contrast, neighboring Wyoming, which boasts roughly three times the number of wolves as Montana in a much smaller state, has cut the number of wolves that may be killed before hunting is ceased in half to help make certain the population is protected from over-hunting.
The Center for Biological Diversity released this video today, protesting Montana’s decision.