Fact Sheet
Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf © Michael S Quinton / National Geographic Stock

Threats to Wolves

The most common cause of death for wolves is conflict with people over livestock losses. While wolf predation on livestock is fairly uncommon, wolves that do prey on them are often killed to protect the livestock. Defenders is working with livestock owners to develop non-lethal methods to reduce the chances of a wolf attacking livestock. These methods include fencing livestock, lighting, alarm systems and removing dead or dying livestock that may attract carnivores like wolves.

Another serious threat is human encroachment into wolf territory, which leads to habitat loss for wolves and their prey species.

Overall, the greatest threat to wolves is people's fear and misunderstanding about the species. Many fairy tales and myths tend to misrepresent wolves as villainous, dangerous creatures.

Reasons for Hope 

Defenders and many other conservation organizations have been working tirelessly on wolf conservation in North America, from aerial hunting in Alaska to restoration efforts in the lower 48 States. Wolves are an integral part of an ecosystem as a top tier predator and Defenders will continue to make sure this iconic symbol of America always has a place here.

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Photo: Joel Sartore
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The war on wolves must stop. Demand an official status review of wolves in the Northern Rockies – the first step toward restoring protection!
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Gray Wolf, © Angelique Rea
In the Magazine
As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers abandoning gray wolf recovery across most of the lower 48 states—even eliminating Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in areas where they have yet to be restored or barely have a foothold—recent polls released by Defenders show that the public is against the idea.