Wildlife Management & Policy: Disease and De-listing

In these two articles, wildlife management and policy regarding disease control and the endangered species act are explored.  While measures aimed at controlling the spread of disease are not as controversial, the de-listing of once endangered species remains a highly debated topic.

Article 1

In this article, chronic wasting disease — a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose that results in  — is discussed after the first case of CWD was discovered in Montana in October of 2017.

Two more deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in south-central Montana’s Carbon County, the results coming just a day before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide the parameters of a hunt to determine how far the sickness has spread in the area. — Billings Gazette

Wildlife management efforts to contain this deadly disease include special hunts and changes from split seasons to single seasons.  To read Article 1 in its entirety, click here.

Article 2

In this article, Nick Gevock, discusses the de-listing of grizzly bears as an endangered species in Montana.  A controversial topic that draws strong opinions across the board, removing grizzlies from the endangered species list highlights (at least) two important things:  (1) the hunting-conservation debate is still alive and kicking…and as heated as ever, and (2) conservation and proper wildlife management can work.

Four decades ago, grizzlies were struggling, especially in the ecosystem in and around Yellowstone National Park. The estimated population back then was a mere 136 bears. The bears were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1975 in an effort to save the species from blinking out. Today, after extensive work by public-land managers, ranchers, hunters, conservationists, campers and others, an estimated 700 bears live in the greater Yellowstone area.  This is a huge conservation success story, and it shows that the law works when it is fully implemented and fully funded. — Nick Gevock (Conservation Director for Montana Wildlife Federation)

Some questions to consider when reading this article:

  • What is the purpose of the endangered species act?
  • How can and should the relationship between wild animals and domesticated animals be managed?
  • What role should hunting play in conservation efforts?
  • What factors ought to be considered when developing and implementing policy? 

To read Article 2 in its entirety, click hereFor a related article on grizzlies and conservation, click here.

Additional Resources to Explore

Some Articles & Books


Watch & listen to audio/video and view photos from each walk in our 3-Part Fall Philosophy Walk Series on environmental ethics, conservation, preservation, hunting & hunting ethics, wildlife management, governance/policy & community.

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