Defenders Magazine

Fall 2014

Volume 89, Issue 3


Gray wolf, © Michael Quinton, National Geographic Stock

Nearly a quarter century ago, L. David Mech made a pair of bold predictions about the challenges still awaiting wolves in the American West. As he and I stood on a bluff in Yellowstone National Park discussing what was then the highly unlikely prospect that the howls of Canis lupus would ever be common again in the Northern Rockies, my home region, the world’s foremost wolf biologist demonstrated foresight that now seems profoundly prophetic. “Bringing back wolves will be difficult,” he said. “And if it happens, it would be momentous. But then the real test begins. Has society moved past its historical prejudices attached to these animals or is the hysteria destined to be repeated again? To me, that will be the true gauge of whether Americans have become smarter about our relationship with wolves.” Then he added something else: Maybe the only group of citizens who fully understand the native importance of wolves on the landscape is native people.


Wanted: candidates for Congress. Essential duties include protecting our nation’s natural resources and wildlife.
Hammerhead Shark, © Tui De Roy / Minden Pictures
New Hope for Hammerheads; From Doves to Condors; Wolverine Woes
© Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr
New Hope for Hammerheads; From Doves to Condors; Wolverine Woes
© Shutterstock
Smaller than 5 millimeters, microbeads wash down the drain, slip through most wastewater treatment systems and eventually end up in the sea where fish, mussels, crabs and more mistake them for fish eggs and eat them.
San Joaquin Kit Fox, © Kevin Schaefer / Minden Pictures
But with fewer than 7,000 left, the San Joaquin kit fox can’t outrun the habitat destruction, oil leasing, pesticides and climate change problems that are taking a toll.