Endangered Species | Mammals
Mountain-Prairie Region
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Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

 

Jump to a section: Recent actions & links | Background information | Annual reports, Wyoming status reports, Other wolf recovery programs | Post-Delisting Wolf Monitoring: Annual Reviews & On-the-Spot-Reviews | State, tribal, and other wolf management | Contact us | « Back to mammals | Open / close all

  • Gray Wolf. Credit: Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf / USFWS.

    Gray Wolf. Credit: Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf / USFWS.

  • Gray wolf taking a look back. Credit: Eric Cole / USFWS.

    Gray wolf taking a look back. Credit: Eric Cole / USFWS.

  • Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS.

    Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS.

Gray wolf (Canis lupus)

Wolf restoration in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) has been an amazing success thanks to both the resiliency of wolves and the cooperative efforts of Federal, State, and Tribal agencies, conservation groups, and private citizens including ranchers, sportsmen, and outfitters.

The NRM gray wolf population continues to be robust, stable, and self-sustaining exceeding recovery goals in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming since 2002. Wolves in the NRM, with the exception of Wyoming, were delisted in 2011 giving management authority to the States. The five-year federal oversight period for Idaho and Montana ended in 2015 yet wolf populations remain well above minimum federal management objectives of 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves in each state.

On April 26, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a U.S. District Court decision and issued a final mandate delisting wolves in Wyoming which reverted management authority back to the State. The Service will continue to assist, advise, and support state and federal agency partners to ensure a viable, self-sustaining wolf population in Wyoming during the five-year post-delisting monitoring period and into the future. Wolves have continued to increase in number and expand their range westward beyond the original NRM boundary in Oregon and Washington and have recently begun to recolonize portions of northern California.

The Service expects the entire NRM wolf population to maintain a long-term average of around 1,000 wolves. Wolves in the NRM represent a 400-mile extension of a vast contiguous wolf population that numbers over 12,000 wolves in western Canada and about 65,000 wolves across all of Canada and Alaska.


Recent actions & links »

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April 2017 -U.S. Court of Appeals issues mandate delisting gray wolves in the state of Wyoming. Wolves have already been delisted throughout the rest of the Northern Rockies population.

 

September 2014 - Federal District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the delisting of wolves in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Therefore, wolves are again listed as a nonessential experimental population in all of Wyoming.

June 2013 – Following successful recovery efforts in the NRM and western Great Lakes regions, the Service proposed to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species throughout the remainder of the United States and Mexico, while maintaining protection for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in the Southwest.  This action has no impact on the NRM population, but more information can be found here

August 2012 – The Service announced that the Wyoming population of gray wolves was recovered and no longer warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act.  Beginning September 30th, wolves in Wyoming were managed by the state under an approved management plan, as they are in the states of Idaho and Montana.

May 2011 - The Service published a direct final rule delisting wolves in Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah. This final rule implements legislative language included in the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill. The Service and the states will monitor wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountain DPS and gather population data for at least five years.

April 2009 -- Final Rule to Identify the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and to Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

February 2008 - Final Rule Establishing and Delisting the NRM Gray Wolf DPS

January 2008 - Final Rule for Revision of Special Regulation for the Central Idaho and Yellowstone Area Nonessential Experimental Populations of Gray Wolves

February 2007 - Proposed rule Establishing and Delisting the NRM Gray Wolf DPS

August 1, 2006 - FWS Announces 12-Month Finding on a Petition to Establish and Delist the NRM Gray Wolf Population:

January 2005 - New Regulation (10(j) Special Rule) Allows Greater Management Flexibility of Gray Wolves for the States of Montana and Idaho:

2003 - Final Rule to Designate 3 Distinct Population Segments and Change the ESA Status of the Gray Wolf throughout Most of the Lower 48 States:

1994 - Establishment of Nonessential Experimental Populations of Gray Wolves:

1978 - Reclassification of the Gray Wolf in the United States and Mexico, with Determination of Critical Habitat in Michigan and Minnesota:

1974 - Gray Wolf Listed as Endangered in the Lower 48 States and Mexico:


Background information »


NRM and Wyoming Annual and Status Reports and Monthly Updates »


Post-Delisting Wolf Monitoring: Annual Reviews & On-the-Spot-Reviews »


Other Federal, state, tribal, and other wolf management »


Contact us »

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Have a question? Contact us at:
WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

 

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.
Last modified: June 14, 2018
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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