Wolves Lose Protection in Northeast Under Proposed US Rule

8 Jun

by AP

This 2008 photo released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf. The Obama administration on Friday, June 7, 2013 proposed lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the mainland states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature. Photo courtesy of USFWS

This 2008 photo released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf. The Obama administration on Friday, June 7, 2013 proposed lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the mainland states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature. Photo courtesy of USFWS

Wolves that wander into Upstate New York or northern New England from Canada or elsewhere would lose federal protection after most of the animal’s species are removed from the federal endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Friday.

Wolves, which have been persecuted to near-extermination, have rebounded, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

There are no breeding populations of wolves in the Northeast, but there are populations of wolves in Canada not far from the U.S. and wolves from other regions are occasionally found in the region, said Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Specialist Mark McCollough, based in Orono, Maine. Eventually, they will no longer have federal protection, he said.

“They will no longer be protected under the federal act, but the states will be responsible for managing wolves,” he said.

In Vermont and Maine, wolves aren’t given protection beyond the prohibition of hunting or trapping them.

Over the years there have been other occasions when large wolf-like animals have appeared in the region. In some cases, genetic testing has found them to mixes of wolf species and eastern coyote.

This year, a trail camera took a series of photos of a large wolf-like animal in Wilson’s Mills, Maine, not far from the New Hampshire border. In 2012, a wolf was shot in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, not far from Maine, McCollough said.

The proposed change to the Endangered Species Act would end four decades of recovery efforts for wolves. There are more than 6,100 wolves roaming the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes.

Despite vast tracts of wilderness that are suitable for wolves in the Northeast, efforts to restore wolves to the region never got off the ground.

McCollough said there are populations of Eastern wolves in Canada within 60 miles of the Maine border, but the St. Lawrence River acts as a natural barrier, keeping all but a few of the wolves from finding their way south.

5 Responses to “Wolves Lose Protection in Northeast Under Proposed US Rule”

  1. bearspawprint June 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  2. sagedoyle June 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on SageDoyle.

  3. lillyrae June 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on sweetunicornsandrainbows.

  4. Gray Dawster June 10, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    This is definitely not good news, it seems
    that man always has to be killing our wildlife…

    A very good posting my friend…

    Andro

  5. Adam Sand September 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    I have a home in southern Vermont and saw a very large wolf across the road travelling along the brook that parallels it in December 2011.Recently on Sept.4 2013 I saw one bound across a road in upstate New York in Renesellaer county on Rt.22 in broad daylight.It could have been a coyote wolf hybrid but it was large and extremely healthy looking.Sorry no pictures but I will now keep a camera on me at all times,and I believe in keeping them federally protected.Happy I came upon this website and will continue to monitor and contribute when I can.

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