For Release on March 28, 2008
NEWS RELEASE: USFWS
Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves Removed From
Endangered Species List as of March 28, 2008
Today, Friday, March 28, 2008, the northern Rocky Mountain gray
wolf is officially removed from the federal list of endangered
species. The States of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming will assume full
management authority for the continued conservation of the gray
wolf. This wolf population has exceeded its recovery goals for the
past several years and is now thriving. Presently, there are more
than 1,500 wolves and at least 100 breeding pairs in Montana,
Idaho and Wyoming. The Service and States will cooperatively
monitor the wolf population for the next five years.
As part of the Service’s delisting action, it designated the
northern Rocky Mountain wolf Distinct Population Segment (DPS) as
that area that includes all of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, the
eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and a small corner of
This action will not affect the status of any wolves outside of
the northern Rocky Mountain wolf DPS. Wolves outside the
boundaries of the Rocky Mountain DPS and Western Great Lakes DPS
(where it was delisted in
2007) will remain listed as endangered. A dispersing wolf would
attain the status of the area it is in. For example, if a wolf
dispersed to Colorado, it would be considered endangered, whereas
a wolf that moves into either DPS would be a delisted wolf and
under the management of the States.
Once a species is delisted a State or Tribe has sole management
responsibility. The Act includes many safeguards to ensure that
the wolf population will remain recovered for the foreseeable
future. For example, the Act mandates the Service to monitor the
wolf population for at least 5 years after delisting. This helps
to ensure the population remains above recovery levels and
emerging threats do not jeopardize the wolf population. Annual
reports and the Service’s analysis of these reports will be posted
on the Service website during that period. Should the wolf
population again become threatened or endangered, it could be
protected under the ESA again.
Gray wolves were previously listed as endangered in the lower 48
states, except in Minnesota, where they were listed as threatened.
The wolf population in the Midwest was delisted in early 2007.
With removal of the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray
wolves delisted, the Service now oversees the only remaining gray
wolf recovery program, the southwestern U.S. wolf population.
Wolves in national parks will remain under the management
authority of the National Park Service. On national wildlife
refuges, the individual refuge should be contacted, unless a prior
arrangement has been made with the state fish and wildlife agency
to allow wolf hunting on that refuge. On tribal lands the Tribes
have management authority, and they should be contacted. On other
lands, where wildlife is typically managed by the respective State
fish and wildlife agency, (including federal lands such as those
administered by the U.S. Forest Service or BLM) the states should
For more information on northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves, visit
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