FWS Determines Long-Awaited Conservation Fate of Gray Wolf, Others

posted: 07/02/15
by: Danny Clemens
A lone gray wolf pauses in the snow. Canis lupus. Montana.
Jeff Foott/DCL

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced its findings regarding three dozen animals that conservationists want to see afforded special protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Perhaps the most public battle concerned the gray wolf (Canis lupus), which has been the subject of a protracted legal fight between the Humane Society of the United States and the USFWS. Along with more than 20 other petitioners, the Humane Society filed to have the gray wolf classified as a threatened species.

According to USFWS, "the petition failed to provide substantial information indicating these wolves may meet the definition of a threatened species -- specifically are likely to be in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range".

The agency notes that current grey wolf populations exceed expectations by as much as 300% in some areas.

In a statement, Humane Society chief program and policy offer said that he was "disappointed" by the ruling. "We need practical solutions, not to turn back the clock to the days of widespread hound hunting, baiting and trapping of hundreds of wolves in states with hostile and reckless wolf management policies," he added.

Green salamander
Brian Gratwicke via Wikimedia Commons

Other species whose petitions were rejected include the California giant salamander, Olympic torrent salamander and the wingtail crayfish.

Conversely, the agency has found that almost two dozens petitions merit further review. The gopher frog, green salamander (pictured) and western spadefoot toad could soon be afforded federal protections, pending further investigation.

Click here to see the full list of petitions

Learn more about wolves:

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An Arctic Wolf Visits Camp

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