Abstract

At one time gray wolves were near extinction in the lower 48 United States. However, from a single small population in Minnesota they expanded their range into Wisconsin and Michigan. It is estimated that the Minnesota wolf population is now more than 2,400 and the Wisconsin/Michigan population is near 400. In the northern US Rocky Mountains, wolves emigrated from Canada into northwest Montana where there are currently about 75 wolves. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho has led to a population that is increasing faster than expected and numbers about 200 in those areas. Due to these increases in gray wolf numbers and range in the continental United States, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is reviewing potential changes to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) protection for gray wolves.

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