Wolves back on Endangered Species list

wildlife killings

Protection for the gray wolf in the midwest and western states has been restored by a court order. A federal court Thursday restored Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf after they were eliminated in 2020.

The ruling orders the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resume recovery efforts for the species. The decision redesignates the gray wolf as a species threatened with extinction in the lower 48 states with the exception of the Northern Rockies population, for which wolf protections were removed by Congress in 2011.


As such, the decision, does not affect the hunting of wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—including surrounding Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. However, the court said the most recent data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its state partners show only an estimated 132 wolves in Washington state, 173 in Oregon, and fewer than about 20 in California.

Nevada, Utah, and Colorado have had a few wolf sightings over the past three years, but wolves remain functionally absent from their historical habitat in these states. In 2020, Colorado voters directed the state to reintroduce wolves by 2023.


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