Maine Field Office - Ecological Services
Northeast Region

Eastern / Gray Wolf - Endangered

Information on the status of wolves in the east can be found at:  In the late winter of March, the USFWS, with the Midwest Region in the lead, proposed to correct what may be an error in delineation of the historical ranged of the gray wolf, Canis lupus

What is the Service proposing for wolves in the Northeast?
Recent taxonomic studies and other scientific information indicate that the historical range identified for the listed gray wolf (Canis lupus) is in error. The best available scientific information suggests that the wolf species that historically occurred in the Northeast is the eastern wolf species (Canis lycaon), formerly considered a subspeciees of C. lupus.  As a result, the Service is also proposing to revise the gray wolf (Canis lupus) listing by removing all or portions of 29 states where evidence suggests the gray wolf never occurred. The Service will also initiate a status review of C. lycaon to determine whether further ESA action is warranted for this species.

How does this proposal affect the Northeast?
Should this proposal become finalized, any wolves entering the Northeast would not be protected under the Endangered Species Act, as they are now.

What is the current wolf situation in the Northeast?  
The Service has no evidence indicating the current presence of a wolf population in the Northeast.  Any wild wolf discovered in the Northeast is likely to be a dispersing individual from a neighboring Canadian population.

How will the Service conduct a status review for Canis lycaon?
The status review, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will evaluate the status of the species throughout its range, including Canada. The review will be based on the best available scientific and commercial information, including the Service’s current understanding of North American wolf taxonomy.  State and provincial wildlife agencies will be engaged in the status review.  Also, the public was asked to submit information on the status of C. lycaon and had a chance to comment on this status review at any of the public hearings on the proposed rule; one public hearing was held in the Northeast – in Augusta, Maine, on June 8, 2011. Details of this public meeting have been released.

Last updated: October 2, 2012
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