Human population growth is one of the biggest threats to wolf preservation. As the population grows we encroach on wolf territory, driving them further and further out, destroying their natural habitat and source of food, which results in loss of the species.
Wolves by nature need a vast amount of territory to travel, raise their families and forage for food. When humans encroach on their territory there is conflict which results in the slaughter of wolves.
The most common cause of conflict between wolves and people is livestock loss. There are preventative measures that ranchers can take inorder to coexist with wolves such as fencing livestock, lighting, alarm systems, and/or removing dead livestock before they attract wolves, but most ranchers rather slaughter a wolf than invest time, energy and money in their own animals and help preserve the wolf.
Even though it is illegal to hunt wolves in the state of Minnesota there is evidence that wolves are still being slaughtered today.
What most people are not aware of is that ranchers in Minnesota are compensated up to 75% for the loss of cattle due to wolf attacks, a program set up by Defenders of Wildlife organization, and ranchers want this compensation to continue even if the wolves are removed from the endangered species act and hunting them becomes legal.