USFWS Responds to Petitions Calling for Protection of Gray Wolves

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has issued a 90-day finding that two petitions presented “substantial scientific or commercial information” justifying possible listing of a distinct population segment of gray wolves in western North America under the Endangered Species Act. More specifically, the agency determined the petitions contained “credible and substantial information” about the threats posed to gray wolves by hunting in Idaho and Montana, habitat modification due to a reduced prey base, disease, and loss of genetic diversity caused by isolation and small population size. FWS now will conduct a 12-month status review to determine which listing status is warranted and will accepting any information that will guide its analysis at any point during that process. The petitions were filed by the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Western Watersheds Project and dozens of other organizations, several of whom also have filed federal litigation challenging FWS’ November 3, 2020, removal of the gray wolf from the endangered species list.