Colorado in early June 2021 announced the birth of the first litter of gray wolves in 80 years on its soil, an important step in efforts to reintroduce the species into this state of the American West.
The first wolf litter since 1940
In early June, a state biologist and a resource management employee reported observing two previously identified wolves, John and Jane, with three cubs from a distance. The litters usually have four to six cubs, so other newborn wolves have simply not been seen yet. “Colorado today houses our first wolf litter since the 1940sColorado Governor Jared Polis said in a June 9 statement, calling the move “historical“. The people of this state voted last 2020 for a law aimed at reintroducing these predators by 2023.”We continue to actively monitor the den, while we are extremely careful not to inadvertently endanger the survival of these little ones.“Biologist Libbie Miller said.”Our main concern is not to disturb them.“
Extermination of European settlers
About 250,000 wolves inhabited the country before European settlers carried out extermination campaigns during the 20th century. Today, about 6,000 gray wolves are scattered in 48 states. There were only a thousand left when the United States declared them a protected species in the late 1970s. Despite this good news from Colorado, environmental groups are still very worried about the future of this species, after former US President Donald Trump stripped it of some federal protection alliance in 2020, exposing them to hunting. In March, hunters in Wisconsin killed 216 wolves in three days, twice as many as allowed, representing nearly 20% of the state’s population.