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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

 

Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes States

 

A black "gray wolf" standing in a prairie.

Gray wolf at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.

Photo by USFWS

 

News

Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Delisting of Gray Wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is extending by 60 days the public comment period on a proposed rule to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act. The public comment period on the proposed rule that published on March 15, 2019 will now close at midnight on July 15, 2019.

 

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Department of the Interior Celebrates Recovery of the Gray Wolf with Proposal to Return Management to States and Tribes

If a Final Decision is Made that Federal Protections are no Longer Warranted, We Will Focus Conservation Efforts on Species Still in Need of ESA Protections, Says Acting Secretary

 

March 14, 2019

The gray wolf, an iconic species of the American West, had all but disappeared from landscape in the lower 48 states by the early 20th century. Now it roams free in nine states and is stable and healthy throughout its current range. This constitutes one of the greatest comebacks for an animal in U.S. conservation history. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-affirming the success of this recovery with a proposal to remove all gray wolves from protection under Endangered Species Act (ESA).

 

News Release »

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Gray Wolf Biology and Ecology

 

 

 

Gray wolf crossing dirt road.

Photo courtesy of Debs; Creative Commons

Social animals that live in packs, wolves howl to communicate among themselves and to mark territory. They are predators at the top of the food chain with no predators other than humans.

 

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History of Decline, Protection and Recovery

 

 

Gray wolf crossing dirt road.

Photo courtesy of Hilary Cooley

Historically found in most of the lower 48 states, at the time the gray wolf was listed as endangered in 1973 the only reproducing population in the U.S. (outside of Alaska) was in northeastern Minnesota.

 

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Wolf Numbers in the Western Great Lakes State from 1976 to present

 


Chronology of Federal Actions

 

 

5-Islands Creek after restoration - Photo Credit: Menominee Indian Tribe

Photo by Scott Flaherty; USFWS

From inclusion in the list of species threatened with extinction under the Endangered species Conservation Act of 1966 to present, a timeline of Federal Actions affecting the wolf in the Western Great Lakes States.

 

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Population Monitoring Results

 

 

5-Islands Creek after restoration - Photo Credit: Menominee Indian Tribe

As wolves expanded from Minnesota into Wisconsin and from Wisconsin and Canada into Michigan, the states have monitored their wolf populations.

 

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State Wolf Management Plans

5-Islands Creek after restoration - Photo Credit: Menominee Indian Tribe

As wolf range expanded in the western Great Lakes states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began the regulatory process to remove Endangered Species Act protection, the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin prepared wolf management plans.

 

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