Proposed Changes to Endangered Status and Home Range

In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered species since recovery efforts across the United States have brought back healthy populations of the gray wolf.  However, the proposal maintains the protections for the Mexican gray wolf by listing the subspecies as an endangered species. 

Also in 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to expand the current range where Mexican gray wolves can become established and expand the area where wolves from captivity can be released.  Currently, wolves are moved back to the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area if they leave the Recovery Area. The proposed plan would expand the area where Mexican gray wolves are permitted to be and reduce translocations.  Another proposed change would increase the size of the release zone.  Currently, the release zone is only about 16% of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.  Increasing the release zone would avoid excessive overlapping of pack territories and reduce interspecies strife. 

Following the proposals, two public hearings were held in late 2013 in addition to a comment period to allow the public to respond to the proposed changes.