Status review of PNW wolves soon underway
May 05, 2011
Close on the heels of Congress removing federal protections for Northern Rockies wolves, federal biologists will start for endangered Cascades wolves a required 5-year status review in the Pacific Northwest.
Close on the heels of Congress removing federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes, today the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will start a required 5-year status review of endangered gray wolves in the Pacific Northwest. How are these wolves doing? What are the reasons for their decline? Do Cascades wolves warrant recognition as a distinct population? These and other questions are considered in a status review.
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The review will focus on Pacific Northwest wolves outside of the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, which are considered part of the delisted Rocky Mountain population. According to a fact sheet from the USFWS, the extent of their review will likely include those portions of Oregon and Washington west of the Northern Rockies DPS boundary, northern California, western Nevada, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Within the Service’s definition of the Pacific Northwest, there is only one confirmed breeding pack - the Lookout Pack which, because of poaching has gone from as many as ten animals to two remaining individuals. Illegal killing is the greatest threat to recovery of endangered Cascades wolves.
Says Conservation Northwest's Jasmine Minbashian, “We welcome a robust scientific review of wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It’s very timely since wolves are making a comeback in the Northwest. We hope that the review will bring attention to rampant poaching - one of the biggest obstacles to recovery of our wolves.”