Wolf Recovery Debate Videos Now Available from International Wolf Symposium 2013

The International Wolf Center has released the first of several sessions recorded at the October 2013 gathering of more than 450 wolf enthusiasts and experts at the International Wolf Symposium held at the DECC in Duluth, Minnesota.

First to be featured is the session “A Debate About Wolf Recovery,” presenting wolf experts Mike Phillips, Ed Bangs and Larry Voyles.  In these 12 short video segments, each expert presents his unique and sometimes controversial perspective in answering questions prepared by symposium staff and offered during the debate by the audience. The three panelists represented a long and varied history of wolf management and recovery experience and skill. Their participation in the panel was well received and their pragmatic, strategic and sometimes audacious demeanor was embraced by the audience.

Each video segment of this panel discussion will certainly provide valuable information on wolf recovery in the United States. However, the Center hopes that sessions like these will also provide food for thought on how different interpretations of wolf recovery influence decision-making and discourse.

Funding for the International Wolf Symposium 2013: Wolves and Humans at the Crossroads was provided by: Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation, Harold W. Sweatt Foundation, Turner Endangered Species Fund, and anonymous donors.

A Debate About Wolf Recovery


Q1. What do you believe wolf recovery to be and what is it not?


Q2. In relation to wolves what has the Endangered Species Act or the administration of the act done well?


Q3. In relation to wolves what has the Endangered Species Act not done well?


Q.4 What is left to be done to further wolf recovery in the U.S. and what would need to happen to make that possible?



Q.5 What are two to three key points you think the different factions of the public need to consider to better understand the dialogue about wolf recovery?

Q.6 What are the most and least useful policies states and tribes have instituted since wolves became their management responsibility?

Q.7 What does science bring to the table in this dialogue?


Q.8 What is your point of view of the proposal to delist wolves across the U.S. with the exceptions for red and Mexican wolves?

Q.9 The services recovery goal for the Rockies is only 30 to 450 wolves, the states are moving towards reducing the population and they are allowed to kill 100-150 wolves in three states.  How can such a low threshold be termed recovered? What about ecological function?

Q.10 It appears to many of us that wolf management by the state and the anticipated delisting are based more on politics than on science. What are your thoughts on that?

Q.11 What role has the media played in wolf recovery? And, as advocates what can we do to change negative perceptions of the wolf by the media?

Q.12 Why hasn’t the Fish and Wildlife Service finished a science-based recovery plan for Mexican wolves? What’s the hold up and next steps?

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