HOWL Colorado

Rare Alaskan wolf being considered for addition to the ESA

Today, even while the US Fish & Wildlife Service is trying to delist wolves from endangered status in the Lower-48 states, the agency posted its decision that an Endangered Species Act (ESA)
listing “may be warranted” for a wolf subspecies that has never been protected — the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

This wolf is unique to the forested islands of Alaska’s panhandle. The agency’s so-called “90 day finding” is posted in today’s advance edition of the Federal Register, and will be formally published on Monday. The Archipelago wolves’ range is most of Southeast Alaska, including most of the Tongass National Forest.

The Finding responds — over two years late — to a “petition to list” filed by Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity in August 2011. Primary threats to this wolf species are loss of habitat for its primary prey (Sitka black-tailed deer) from 60-years of still on-going logging in the region, and hunting and trapping mortality (both legal and illegal) related to the high density of logging roads. The agency found that listing “may be warranted” under three of the five factors the ESA requires it to consider, any one of which would be sufficient.

The agency will now do a full “status review” of this wolf species (now officially an ESA “candidate species”), and then make a final ESA listing decision.


Press release from Greenpeace/Center for Biological Diversity
Finding — AA Wolf ESA Listing may be warranted
Petition to list the AA wolf – CBD and Greenpeace
Declaration of Dr. Person – Declaration for Big Thorne appeal


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