Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gray Wolf May Return to Endangered Species List

Wikimedia Commons image

Some species who are endangered may seem far away for those of us living in NJ. I reported earlier on grizzly bears in Yellowstone being returned to the endangered list, and now we can also consider that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that Endangered Species Act protections are being reinstated for the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region.

There are reportedly around 4,000 wolves in the western Great Lakes region.

Due to a settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit challenging the Service’s removal of ESA protections for the western Great Lakes gray wolf, the species will remain on the endangered species list during the public comment period. The reinstatement may not be permanent and the court could decide to de-list the wolves once again.

According to a USFWS spokesperson, the court determined that an appropriate public comment period had not been provided prior to removing the wolves’ protections.

The reinstatement takes wolf management authority away from state wildlife regulators in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for now, and allows Federal authorities to determine whether or not to de-list the wolves again after considering additional information.