Wyoming Ecological Services
Mountain-Prairie Region

Federally Listed, Proposed & Candidate Species | Species of Concern | Migratory Birds | All Species By County



Federally Listed, Proposed and Candidate Species

Gray Wolf
(Canis lupus)

Status: Nonessential Experimental

Gray WolfPhoto Credit: FWS

Wyoming Counties Where Wolf May Occur

Section 7 Range Symbol

Wyoming Area Of Influence
Gray Wolf

Potential Distribution in Wyoming

For Species Lists, please use the IPaC System

Area Of Influence

Areas Of Influence (AOI) identify areas where any project located within should consider potential effects to the Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate species and designated and proposed Critical Habitat, in reference to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.  AOI typically encompass larger areas than simply where the species is known to exist because of direct and indirect effects to the species and their habitat.  It is important to consider potential effects to the species and their habitat within these larger areas.  Action agencies are encouraged to refer to the Service’s Information, Planning, and Conservation System (IPAC) or contact the FWS Wyoming Ecological Services Office for additional information.  (AOI boundaries based on the best available data at time of development.  AOI will be updated as new information becomes available).

Download Area Of Influence GIS Data or Area Of Influence Google Earth layers


Species Information

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is the largest member of the Canidae (dog) family.  Pelt color can be highly variable ranging from white to black, with grizzled gray or black being the most common in Wyoming.  In the Northern Rocky Mountain region, adult male gray wolves typically weigh from 90 to 110 pounds and adult females from 80 to 90 pounds.  The gray wolf is 26 to 32 inches tall at the shoulder and 4.5 to 6.5 feet from nose to tail tip. 

On September 23, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the delisting of wolves in Wyoming and reinstated the April 2, 2009, final rule (74 FR 15123) regulating the gray wolf in Wyoming as a non-essential experimental population.  In order to comply with recent court orders, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule reinstating regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for the gray wolf in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes (80 FR 9218; February 20, 2015).  Although wolves in Wyoming are currently listed and protected under the ESA, additional flexibility is provided for their management under the provisions of the special regulations promulgated for this non-essential experimental population (see 50 CFR 17.84(i)).

For purposes of consultation under ESA section 7, gray wolves in most of Wyoming are treated as a proposed species, except on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge lands, where they are treated as a threatened species.  As a result, requirements for interagency consultation under section 7 differ based on the land ownership.  Specifically, for Federal actions that may affect gray wolves on National Park and National Wildlife Refuge lands, section 7(a)(2) applies; whereas for Federal actions that may affect gray wolves on all other lands, section 7(a)(4) applies.

The Service encourages project proponents to consider their project’s impacts to gray wolves and their habitat, and the Service encourages Federal agencies to use their section 7(a)(1) responsibilities to further survival and recovery efforts.  Gray wolves follow the seasonal movements of big game populations and may occur in large ungulate migration, wintering, or parturition areas.  While some project activities can impact gray wolves directly, changes to big game population numbers or herd movements can also impact the distribution, abundance, and survival of gray wolves.  Consequently, project planning should consider impacts to big game populations, including wintering grounds and migration corridors.

Additional Information

Region 6 Gray Wolf Information

Last updated: April 10, 2015