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Endangered Species Act Protections Stripped From Gray Wolves

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a rule today that removes protection from all gray wolves in the lower 48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The Service made its decision despite the fact that wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental United States.

“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” said Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney. “Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy — and it’s illegal, so we will see them in court.”

“We should be putting much more effort into coexistence with wolves, working to ensure that populations in the lower 48 are thriving and are able to play out their ecological role balancing our natural systems, instead of stripping critical protections still needed for their full recovery,” said Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club senior campaign representative. “The science is clear that to protect our communities and prevent future pandemics, we need to be doing more to protect nature and wildlife, not less.”

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Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: James Quirk, Media Specialist, jquirk@biologicaldiversity.org, (971) 717-6411
Climate: Nyshie Perkinson, Media Specialist, nperkinson@biologicaldiversity.org, (718) 928-5148
Public Lands, National Monuments and Borderlands:
Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist – mkreinhart@biologicaldiversity.org, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist – sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics, Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist – aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569
Population and Sustainability: Kim Dinan, kdinan@biologicaldiversity.org, (513)535-1306

Patrick Sullivan, Media Director, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos, rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity