Trump Administration Seeks To Lift ‘Endangered’ Status On Wolves By End Of Year
According to The Hill, the Trump administration is looking to end endangered species protections for gray wolves in the U.S. by the year’s end.
- Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith said during a phone interview with the Associated Press this week, "We're working hard to have this done by the end of the year and I'd say it's very imminent.”
- “The agency proposed last year that the endangered status on wolves in the lower 48 states be lifted with the exception of a small population of the Mexican wolf in the southwest,” The Hill reported.
- Though wolves came close to extinction due to hunting over the past century, research shows that “populations have rebounded in the western Great Lakes region and areas of the west, with a total population of more than 6,000 now.”
Skipworth told the AP the wolf population has "biologically recovered." She added that removing gray wolves from the list would demonstrate the Endangered Species Act's effectiveness, which provides for more flexible criteria for delisting animal species.
- The report noted that “Montana, Idaho and Wyoming as well as areas of Oregon, Utah and Washington have opted to remove the wolves from endangered species protections”; however, “federal protections remain in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin following a federal judge's move in 2014 to restore protections for the animals, which was upheld by an appeals court in 2017.”
- The Humane Society of the United States and other wildlife protection groups have voiced concern that ending the protections prematurely “would negate wolf population's ability to spread to other states where they could thrive if humans allowed it,” the news outlet wrote.