Wolves lose endangered status

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission vote on Monday makes it official.

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Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission vote on Monday makes it official: wolves no longer have endangered status.

The killing of the animal remains legal only if they are discovered attacking livestock.

Wolf hunting would be allowed for wolves that chronically attack livestock or deer and elk populations. Special permits would be required for those who take part in such hunts. Such a scenario is years away, however, when Oregon has seven breeding pairs for three consecutive years.

The commission considered removing endangered-species status for wolves only in the eastern portion of the state, where most of the population lives. But some commissioners balked because of concerns that it would be challenged in court.


The commission decided on a 4-2 vote.

“Everyone on this panel cares about the wolf,” commission Chairman Michael Finley said of Monday’s decision. “I think you can see by asking for increased penalties and our statement about the future regulations that we mean that.”

Activists said they are likely to sue over the decision on the grounds that the science behind it didn’t undergo an adequate peer review.

The animals reached a population milestone this year — four breeding pairs for the third straight year — that triggered a state process to consider removing them from the list.

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

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