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Gray wolves taken off endangered species list

Published on 02 November 2020

More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump administration and its many conservation partners are announcing the successful recovery of the gray wolf and its delisting from the ESA.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt was at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to announce that state and tribal wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves in states with gray wolf populations, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) monitors the species for five years to ensure the continued success of the species.

The FWS based its final determination solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, a thorough analysis of threats and how they have been alleviated, and the ongoing commitment and proven track record of states and tribes to continue managing for healthy wolf populations once delisted. This analysis includes the latest information about the wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous U.S.

“Today’s action reflects the Trump administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” said Bernhardt. “After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law.”

In total, the gray wolf population in the lower 48 states is more than 6,000 wolves, greatly exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations.

This final rule excludes Mexican wolves, as that species remains listed under the ESA. The final rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

More information can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.  end mark

From a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release

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