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WI: Coalition Says Coyote-Killing Contests In Wisconsin Need Reining In

Groups Worry Endangered Wolves Are Being Killed

By Chuck Quirmbach

A coalition of groups is asking a federal wildlife agency to take a “hard look” at Wisconsin contests aimed at killing coyotes.

The coalition includes wolf protection groups in Madison and Duluth, Minnesota, and Washington D.C.-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER.

According to PEER, conservation biologists have complained to the group that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources isn’t protecting the endangered gray wolf. PEER attorney Adam Carlesco said some wolves are being shot.

“It is easy, for even trained biologists to mistake coyotes for wolves, and in many instances wolves are being killed through a more or less reckless hunting practices of coyotes, ” Carlesco said Thursday.

Carlesco said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to review coyote killing contests, and by not, he alleges, considering safeguards for wolves.

Late Thursday afternoon, the service and the DNR declined immediate comment.

Two hunting groups in Wisconsin did not respond, or did not want to comment.