Wyoming Wolves Federally Protected, Again

federally protected gray yellowstone wolves photo by John Williams

Grey Wolf in Yellowstone. Photo by John Williams

After being delisted from the endangered list in 2012
 and returned to the jurisdiction of the state, Wyoming gray wolves are back under federal protection partially due to the results of a 2013 annual wolf management report recently released by the National Park Service. The report found approximately 95 wolves and eight breeding pairs living within 10 wolf packs primarily inside Yellowstone National Park; the federal expectation when releasing the wolves to Wyoming's management was for the park to maintain over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs.

Although hunting inside Yellowstone National Park is prohibited, at-will hunting outside the park was allowed by the state of Wyoming and known Yellowstone-based wolves have been killed since 2012. According to The New York Times, "...in the first year after federal protection for the wolf was lifted, 62 wolves were killed by trophy hunters, and an unknown number were shot or trapped in areas where the animal was declared a predator."

The September 23 ruling in U.S. District Court found Wyoming's management plan inadequate and slammed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service for accepting it. Wyoming must now prepare a new plan, or file an emergency stay, for the wolves to be released from federal protection.

Via The New York Times

Read more on the history of the Yellowstone gray wolf and their ongoing management


yellowstone wolves off endangered species list

Wolves Off Endangered List in Wyoming

Due to recent increases in their population, wolves are no longer protected under national government regulations mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Outside of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, wolves throughout Wyoming can be shot on sight.

Yellowstone grey wolf in the snow

Yellowstone Wolves Killed December 2012

Over the past few weeks, hunters have killed seven wolves originally from Yellowstone National Park. Each of the wolves wore a GPS research collar, which helps park officials to monitor the wolf packs’ movements.

Grey Wolf in Yellowstone in Spring

Killing Wolves Backfires

A recent study out of the scientific journal reports that killing a wolf that preys on sheep or cattle is not be the best strategy to protect the livestock.