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Trump Administration Returns Management and Protection of Gray Wolves to States and Tribes Following Successful Recovery Efforts
More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump Administration and its many conservation partners are announcing the successful recovery of the gray wolf and its delisting from the ESA. State and tribal wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves in states with gray wolf populations, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors the species for five years to ensure the continued success of the species.
The Service based its final determination solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, a thorough analysis of threats and how they have been alleviated and the ongoing commitment and proven track record of states and tribes to continue managing for healthy wolf populations once delisted. This analysis includes the latest information about the wolf's current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States.
In total, the gray wolf population in the lower 48 states is more than 6,000 wolves, greatly exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations.
This final rule excludes Mexican wolves as that species remains listed under the ESA. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on November 3, 2020, and be effective 60 days after on January 4, 2021.
Keep in mind ALL WOLF HARVEST ZONES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
On Oct. 29, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that they will be removing gray wolves from the federal endangered species list for the lower 48 states. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 3 and will take effect 60 days after on Jan. 4, 2021.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources welcomes the responsibility of again managing wolves in Wisconsin. The department has successfully done so for decades and will continue to follow the science and laws that influence our management. All wolf management, including hunting, will be conducted in a transparent and deliberative process, in which public and tribal participation will be encouraged.
The DNR will continue to partner with USDA-Wildlife Services to address wolf conflicts in Wisconsin. If you suspect wolves in the depredation of livestock, pets or hunting dogs, or if wolves are exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior, contact USDA-Wildlife Services staff immediately. If in northern Wisconsin, call 1-800-228-1368 or 715-369-5221; if in southern Wisconsin, call 1-800-433-0663 or 920-324-4514. Until delisting takes effect, it remains unlawful to shoot a wolf unless there is an immediate threat to human safety. Following the delisting effective date, the DNR may implement all abatement measures as applicable to each situation, which may include lethal control.