Wolves, alligators, and crimes against critters.
The Congressional delisting of the wolf, through a budgetary rider, provoked the expected controversy. See Boston Herald and MongaBay. Then again, as some readers have pointed out, but for the problems with wolf management in Wyoming, FWS would have delisted the species anyway. Indeed, similar efforts to delist recovering wolf populations are underway in the Great Lakes. See AP. And those delistings will be controversial, too. See WDIO
In response to the controversy, some people will ask "why?" The answer is that humans, animals and our ecosystems are all interconnected. Indeed, according to Dr. Louis J. Guillette Jr., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina, alligators (and endangered crocodiles) have a lot more in common with humans than you might think, and the ways their bodily systems develop - or deform -- before hatching are a lot like the ways human babies grow in their mothers' uteruses. See The Freshwater Society. In fact, tiny, tiny doses of chemicals that can cause alligators to die before they hatch or to hatch with significant birth defects can have similar impacts on humans. See also, ABC news.
Yet some people never learn. A Louisiana father and son recently plead guilty to guiding illegal hunts for protected alligators. See 7th Space. A California man plead guilty in federal court in San Francisco to a charge of selling a stuffed American bald eagle. See SF appeal. And Cole Brothers circus was recently fined for illegal sale of elephants. See WWAY-TV.
Photo of an American crocodile at Everglades National Park available online at wikipedia. Crocodiles were once found from Lake Worth to the waters in and around the Florida Bay. Most now nest in the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Key Largo, in the Everglades and on the berms of the cooling canals of the FPL Turkey Point Plant. Crocodiles prefer the quiet waters of coastal mangrove swamps where they are protected from onshore winds. See also, FPL