Dr. Jane Goodall Decries Delisting of Grey Wolves from ESA


Dr. Goodall’s statement:

I was shocked and saddened to hear that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has planned to delist gray wolves from North America from the endangered species list.

I’m not a biologist who studied wolves, although I have met many who have. I have seen wolves with my own eyes in Yellowstone National Park and I have always loved them. As a child, I read about them.

They’re an iconic species of the American landscape and they play an extremely vital role in the ecosystem where they live. And this was shown very clearly when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone. It’s 40 years now since wolves were originally put on the protected species … endangered species list because they had been hunted, trapped, and persecuted until they were almost extinct. Forty years, wolves have managed to re-establish themselves in some places, but in six states where this has happened, the states are given permission to “manage” the wolf population and that means hunting seasons, trapping, and trophy hunting.

Wolves have all the sentience and emotions and intelligence, perhaps more so than dogs. How would you feel if your dog was caught in a leg hold trap? Suffering for hours of agony? How would you feel if your dog was shot so that his head could be mounted on somebody’s wall?

If this plan goes through, then wolves will be prevented from moving into other areas of suitable habitat across their original range. When this delisting was proposed in 2013, 1.5 million people spoke out against it. And go to Yellowstone … there are people lined up to watch the wolves … to watch the dens … to watch the parental behavior.

So please speak out again. Let’s have more than 1.5 million people speaking out for the wolves. They can’t speak for themselves, but how tragic if one could no longer hear the beautiful sound of their howling back and forth at night under the moon. So, please help.

What can we do?

As we hear Dr. Goodall’s words, we recognize that this announcement comes at a time that is both deeply disappointing and galvanizing. As we approach Election day next Tuesday, November 3rd, American citizens must vote to affirmatively elect leaders who respect nature and protect endangered species, believe in science, who act on climate change, and who will advance sustainable green economies. We have the power to turn things around, but we have a small window of time.

Voting is one essential way to hold our leaders accountable on what matters most: protecting habitat and Earth’s biodiversity, combating climate change, and safeguarding human health and livelihoods. For the wolves, and for all life on Earth.

Find out your voter registration status here: https://www.usa.gov/confirm-voter-registration

Find your voting location and more information here: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Jane Goodall is a passionate road warrior, traveling nearly 300 days each year on a worldwide speaking tour to raise awareness, inspire change, and encourage each of us to do our part in making the world a better place. Jane's love for animals started at a young age and in July of 1960, at the age of 26, she followed her dreams and traveled from England to what is now Tanzania, to bravely enter the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars, but with her unyielding patience and optimism, she won the trust of the Gombe chimpanzees, and opened a window into their lives for all to see. Jane's studies has taught humanity one of the most important lessons - that we humans are not the only beings on this planet with personalities, minds capable of thinking and above all, emotions. Her findings shook the scientific community and made us re-evaluate what it means to be human.