Posted: Jun 7, 2013 11:38 AM by KBZK Media Center
Updated: Jun 8, 2013 10:50 AM
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is suggesting the removal the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species.
The gray wolf population has recovered since being listed under the Endangered Species Act more than three decades ago, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This would mean that the wolves would no longer have federal protections and management and protection of the wolves would be under the direction of state wildlife professionals.
"In the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains, the gray wolf has rebounded from the brink of extinction to exceed population targets by as much as 300 percent. Gray wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segments were removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 2011 and 2012," a release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states.
Research shows recovery efforts have been successful for the gray wolf, and now, the service will focus efforts on the Mexican wolf subspecies in the Southwest, according to the statement.
The Defenders of Wildlife issued a statement following the announcement.
"This proposal sets an unfortunate low bar for endangered species recovery in the United States. Wolves currently inhabit only a fraction of their former range, and this proposal will cut off wolf recovery from vast areas of suitable habitat out west where the species can still thrive. Frankly, it's disappointing that the federal government is ready to throw in the towel when wolves are still missing from key states like Colorado, California and Utah. These states have excellent habitat for wolves and can benefit both economically and ecologically from the return of wolves," Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of The Defenders of Wildlife, said.
There will be a 90-day comment period. Information and notices will be posted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services website.