115 Top U.S. Wolf Experts, Scientists Urge Biden Administration to Restore Federal Protections for Gray Wolves

For Immediate Release, May 13, 2021

Contact: John Vucetich, (906) 370-3282, [email protected]
Jeremy Bruskotter, (614) 595-7036, [email protected]
Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity, (651) 955-3821, [email protected]

115 Top U.S. Wolf Experts, Scientists Urge Biden Administration to Restore Federal Protections for Gray Wolves

State Wildlife Agencies Reject Science, Demonstrate Inability to Sustain Wolf Populations

WASHINGTON— More than 100 scientists today called upon Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reinstate federal protections for gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

Wolves lost their federal protections when the Trump administration finalized a national delisting rule in January. Since then, management of wolves has fallen to state wildlife agencies. The letter explains that “state governments have clearly indicated that they will manage wolves to the lowest allowable standards.”

Under the Endangered Species Act, all decisions about the listing of imperiled species must be based solely on the best available science. The scientists’ letter calls upon the federal officials to reinstate federal protections for wolves and “reverse recent and broad trends that have disregarded best-available science with respect to the ESA.”

The letter is endorsed by 115 scientists with expertise in areas related to wolf conservation, such as ecology, population dynamics and genetics. The letter is led by John Vucetich, a professor at Michigan Technological University, and Jeremy Bruskotter, a professor at Ohio State University.

“It’s very clear. The best-available science shows that gray wolves in the lower 48 states do not meet the law’s requirements for recovery,” said Vucetich. “Not being recovered, combined with hostile treatment of wolves by states such as Montana, Idaho and Wisconsin, indicates the need for federally guided conservation of wolves.”

“Emerging science and our experience with wolf conservation indicate there is far more suitable habitat for wolves than was once believed,” said Bruskotter. “Recovering wolves in other suitable areas depends critically on wolves dispersing from existing recovery areas. The recent politicization of wolf management in states like Idaho and Montana puts long-term recovery of wolves in jeopardy by reducing the probability of such dispersals.”

On his first day in office, President Biden ordered a broad review of the Trump administration’s anti-wildlife policies, including the decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves. Since then, hundreds of wolves have been killed under state management. The Fish and Wildlife Service has yet to issue any official review of the gray wolf delisting rule.


Gray wolf (Canis lupus). Photo courtesy of Jim Peaco, National Park Service. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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3 comments on “115 Top U.S. Wolf Experts, Scientists Urge Biden Administration to Restore Federal Protections for Gray Wolves

  1. I work with wolves at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. We need to keep spreading the news about this! People do not understand how wolves play a vital role in the ecosystem as a keystone species, and that the recant actions of states, such as Idaho and Montana, highlight the importance of re-listing these animals. We need to act before all the damage is done.

  2. Save the Grey Wolves Bring back wildlife Protection’s on All endangered species that the Trump Administration wipes out. This was such an irresponsible Action.

  3. I would like your assistance with relocating wolves from the state of Idaho to Lake Earl Wildlife Refuge in Del Norte Co. The reason I am requesting assistance is because the Elk are destroying our near 100 year old fruit tree orchards, and are completely fearless of humans. They won’t even run off if you throw a rock at them.

    Since Idaho wants them gone, a logical approach would be relocating them instead of the senseless killing of these animals, and I would like to see the wolves actually turned loose on our property since it increases the chance they will grow accustomed to us. We want them on our property.

    Different from others, I would rather relocate them instead of killing them, or take them to a refuge if that isn’t possible.

    Also, feel free to contact me if you need some assistance with writing electronic correspondence to reintroduce federal protections. However, I would recommend federal protection allow relocation to facilitate acceptance in the community. Some communities want them while others don’t we definitely want them in Del Norte Co in the Lake Earl Wildlife area.

    Thank you for your consideration.


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