Biologists fit a gray wolf with a radio collar. The collar will allow the biologists to track the wolf. PHOTO: Brendan Oates

Feds use collared wolves for aerial hunts in Idaho

We've just learned that Wildlife Services, the federal animal-killing program, is using "Judas" wolves to betray the location of their wolf families in Idaho so that aerial shooters can wipe them out.

It's a sick trick that shows how low these killers will sink to slaughter wildlife. We need your help to stop them.

A "Judas" wolf is one that's fitted with a radio collar and then used to repeatedly lead government killers back to his or her own family. These wolves are then forced to watch their mate and pups get gunned down around them, while they're left alive to lead the wolf killers to a new pack next season. Then, if they're lucky enough to eventually find a new mate and start a new family, the killers find them again and repeat the slaughter.

Wildlife Services — operating behind a veil of secrecy in collusion with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Idaho Fish and Game — is behind this perverse practice. The center is committed to stopping it.

A collared wolf. — PHOTO: Courtesy Flickr

A collared wolf. — PHOTO: Courtesy Flickr

The scheme — officially called "collaring for later control" — uses unsuspecting wolves to betray family and friends over and over until the day they die, or the batteries in their collars run down.

Wolves are intelligent, sensitive, social animals with strong families. Don't let Idaho and Wildlife Services use that against them. We've launched a full-on legal battle to end this.

Four years isn't a long time, but it's the average life expectancy of a radio-collar battery — and also, pitifully, the average life span of a wolf under Idaho and Wildlife Services management. All it takes is a state order to set these killings in motion.

Only someone like Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and his anti-wildlife cronies could endorse a disgusting killing strategy like this. Help us bring an end to it.

Kierán Suckling is the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.


  1. Michelle Mason 30 March, 2016 at 16:24 Reply

    This is terrible. I want a petition to sign against this governor and the fish and game. Don’t we already do enough to animals?? What is wrong with you people and this world? Don’t have anything better to do but kill animals?? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  2. sylvia 30 March, 2016 at 21:58 Reply

    Your types Gov. Butch Otter will be an end to the balance of our planet..killing the beautiful wolves will destroy the balance…

  3. Nadezda Yaroshinskaya 31 March, 2016 at 16:34 Reply


  4. Teri Endrich 1 April, 2016 at 23:47 Reply

    How very cold-blooded & heartless! These aerial killings & using “Judas” Wolves 2 hunt the pack down is heinous, cruel & barbaric & it needs 2 b STOPPED immediately & permanently! There is no logical reason 4 it in wiping out wolf colonies!

  5. Barbara Tetro 4 April, 2016 at 15:23 Reply

    You’re the Government and bunch of Greedy SOBs. Stop taking payoffs and protect what God has created.

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