The gray wolf was removed from the Endangered Species Act. Senator Bill Hansell and Rep. Greg Barrto have proposed this to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, creating controversy among the environmental groups. The proposals also include that the relisting of the wolves should be done only if their numbers decrease to a very low number. The proposals are supported by farming and hunting groups.
The gray wolf is also known as the timber wolf and the western wolf. This species can be found in North America and in Eurasia. The gray wolf is the largest wolf of its family, with the males weighing up to 99 lb and the females up to 85 lb. This wolf can be easily distinguished from other wolf species, because it is larger and its features are not as pointed, especially the muzzle and the ears. During the winter, its fur is bushy and long and is usual gray, but sometimes they can be white, brown, black or even red. The gray wolf can hunt large prey and it has an advanced expressive behavior. It is a social animal and it travels in families, usually consisting of the mated pair and its off springs. Although it usually feeds on large prey, it feeds on smaller animals and livestock as well.
In Oregon 81 grey wolves can be found at the moment. The biologists in the state claim that the endangered status no longer belongs to this wolf species. But some biologists disagree, as they say that the wolves occupy only 12% of their potential natural habit. They also state that in the state of Oregon, around 1,450 wolves could live.
The proposals filed in November infuriated some environmental groups, and three of them even sued after the commission decided to remove the grey wolves from its list, and thus form its protection. In their lawsuit, they ask for a review of the decision. They also state that the decision didn’t use the right criteria on which an species should be considered endangered or not.
The commission’s decision will mostly affect the wolves that are situated in the East of Oregon. The wolves in the West of the state are still protected, but federal officials are now proposing that the wolves that live in the western area should be also stripped from the federal protection. As the grey wolf was removed from the Endangered Species Act, only time will tell if this was a good decision or not.
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