Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week June 29, 1998


Reclassification and Delisting of the Gray Wolf


Today the Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, and the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamie Clark announced that during the next several months the Service will be considering whether the gray wolf has recovered to the point that it can be removed from the list of endangered species in some areas of its historic range and reclassified to threatened status in other areas.

The Service plans to develop and publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register on this issue sometime this winter and to solicit extensive public input.

Wolf populations in the Great Lakes region exceed recovery goals. Delisting may be appropriate for wolves in the Midwest and portions of the East.

Naturally occurring wolves in the Rocky Mountains have increased and may warrant reclassification from "endangered" to "threatened" status.

Wolves reintroduced to the Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho experimental population areas are classified as experimental. The special rules for these wolves will remain in effect. The ongoing litigation over the Service's use of the experimental designation will be unaffected by the proposed change in wolf's status outside the experimental areas.

The Northeast U.S. offers promising potential for gray wolf recovery. Wolves there may continue to need the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Service will consider whether reclassification to "threatened" status might be appropriate to further recovery efforts.

Important conservation measures have been taken for Mexican wolves but they have not yet recovered enough to be delisted or reclassified.

The status of the red wolf, a separate species, will not change.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
The Service has established a mailing list that will be used to alert interested parties of the status of the gray wolf and the progress being made to reclassify and delist it. Individuals or organizations can join this effort by either writing to US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gray Wolf Review, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, MN 55111-4056, or by e-mail to graywolfmail@mail.fws.gov or calling the Gray Wolf Line at 612-713-7337. In addition the Service will post information on the wolf and potential changes in federal protection on the web at http://www.fws.gov/r3pao/wolf/

For further information about the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains call (406)449-5225, Ed Bangs (x204) or Joe Fontaine (x206).






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