News24

Gray wolf off endangered list

2011-05-05 10:35

Washington - The US government said on Wednesday it is formally removing about 1 300 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list, acting on the orders of Congress in April.

The Interior Department will also seek to remove thousands more wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered list because they have recovered to "healthy levels", Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters.

The issuing of the final rule means that states will manage control of the animals, and that hunting will resume in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington.

Gray wolves in Wyoming will remain under federal management until that state develops a suitable management plan, he said.

"The recovery of gray wolves in the US is a tremendous success story of the Endangered Species Act," said Salazar.

"From a biological perspective, gray wolves have recovered. It is now time to return their management to states that are prepared to ensure the long-term health of the species."

Environmental groups

The move caps a long political and legal battle that dates back to the George W Bush administration.

Last month, an annex was added to the highly disputed budget bill, removing the wolves in that range from federal protection, marking the first time Congress ever removed an animal from the endangered species list.

Environmental groups opposed the move, but admitted defeat after years of fighting in court to preserve the endangered status of the gray wolves.

The wolves had all but disappeared from the region until they were reintroduced in the 1990s, and their protected status has allowed them to reach a total population of 1 651 across the entire Rocky Mountain region, including Wyoming, which is not affected by Wednesday's decision, said the Sierra Club.

But ranchers say wolves are a nuisance to livestock and could even threaten humans if their population grows too large.

Salazar said the government would accept public comments on its proposal to delist gray wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin before acting further.

"To be sure, not everyone will be satisfied with today's announcement," Salazar said.

"Wolves have long been a highly charged issue but let us not lose sight of the fact that these delistings are possible because the species has recovered in these areas."

Comments
  • flamewulf - 2011-05-05 11:22

    For heaven's sake, it's grey, not gray.

      Robert - 2011-05-05 11:32

      It depends on your country of origin, since article was most probably copied from an American article and the spelling 'gray' is accepted as the American spelling of the word there is no mistake.

      Mike Webber - 2011-05-05 11:43

      Not if you're a 'Yank'. They can't spell for sh.t

  • John - 2011-05-05 14:13

    Salazar and the Obama gvt are a disgrace to conservation. It is not up to the White House to remove an animal from the endangered species act! That Salazar has done this is a clear sign of how much Obama and his sidekick are in bed with big business, including the farming and hunting lobbies. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support Salazar's outrageous claims and this bill is nothing short of an assault against America's wildlife. Humans are not endangered -- perhaps Salazar would like to start culling this species --- maybe he'll begin with his own family.

  • John - 2011-05-05 14:14

    Salazar and the Obama gvt are a disgrace to conservation. It is not up to the White House to remove an animal from the endangered species act! That Salazar has done this is a clear sign of how much Obama and his sidekick are in bed with big business, including the farming and hunting lobbies. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support Salazar's outrageous claims and this bill is nothing short of an assault against America's wildlife. Humans are not endangered -- perhaps Salazar would like to start culling this species --- maybe he'll begin with his own family.

  • Gregory - 2011-05-05 21:34

    What does Salazar mean - "...time to return their management to states that are prepared to ensure the long-term health of the species."? I see no evidence of that; it seems that it will be managed by Ranchers, Livestock Producers, and Big Sporting Goods Companies... to kill them all off again... this is a sad day for wolves and anyone who's repulsed and cringes at the thought of these beautiful creatures being hunted for sport or anyone who loves natural balance in the environment; and shameful day for Mr. Obama.

  • Gregory - 2011-05-05 21:35

    What does Salazar mean - "...time to return their management to states that are prepared to ensure the long-term health of the species."? I see no evidence of that; it seems that it will be managed by Ranchers, Livestock Producers, and Big Sporting Goods Companies... to kill them all off again... this is a sad day for wolves and anyone who's repulsed and cringes at the thought of these beautiful creatures being hunted for sport or anyone who loves natural balance in the environment; and shameful day for Mr. Obama.

  • Lanfear - 2011-05-06 10:09

    This is pathetic and shameful! A population of 1651 is considered "healthy"? Indeed, healthy enough to hunt them? What crap! And hunting them for sport, I actually can't believe there are people who enjoy hunting a wolf for sport! A nuisance to livestock? Really? Lock up your bloody livestock then! Get dogs such as Irish wolfhounds who are inclined by genes and can be trained, to guard people and livestock from wolves. Some other dog breeds as well that is good for such guarding. Put a single line of electric fence above an encampment, etc. etc. etc. There are many ways to defend livestock from predators. This is a sad day for conservation in the US and the world. Obama is really a big disappointment where the environment is concerned, all those hollow promises only to become a sell-out to big business. What a shame that a great opportunity for change has been lost.

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