Gray Wolf Taken Off Endangered Species List

The Northern Rockies gray wolf is no longer an endangered species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced today that the gray wolf would be removed from the endangered species list. That may sound like good news but several environmentalists are angry about the decision and are urging President Obama to reverse the decision and place the gray wolf back under federal protection.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, said:

“Today’s removal of wolves in Wyoming from the endangered species list is a tragic ending to what has otherwise been one of America’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories… This is a low point in the modern history of wildlife conservation and a stunning move by an administration that vowed to be guided by sound science. We tried to work with the Obama administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies to develop and implement more responsible wolf management plans, but we were dismissed.”

Clark said that the Defenders of Wildlife would take legal action to make sure that the gray wolf’s population can continue to grow.

Clark added:

“Now we are left with no choice but to pursue legal action to ensure that a healthy, sustainable wolf population remains in Wyoming and across the Northern Rockies for many generations to come.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that the gray wolf will now be regulated by the state. Director Dan Ashe pointed to Idaho and Montana as success stories and said that Wyoming should be able to protect the gray wolf without federal help.

Ashe said:

“The return of the wolf to the Northern Rocky Mountains is a major success story, and reflects the remarkable work of States, Tribes, and our many partners to bring this iconic species back from the brink of extinction… The wolf population has remained healthy under state management in Idaho and Montana, and we’re confident that the Wyoming population will sustain its recovery under the management plan Wyoming will implement.”

The gray wolf will no longer be protected by the Endangered Species Act which means that the animal will now be able to be hunted. Ashe acknowledged that wolf advocates were going to be upset about the decision but said that there was no evidence that hunting was detrimental to long-time conservation.

Ashe said:

“I understand the emotional reaction of wolf advocates to wolf hunting, but experience tells us this won’t be detrimental to the long-term conservation and survival of wolves – it will support it like it has other predators.”