US Fish and Wildlife denies endangered species listing for Alexander Archipelago wolf, found in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia; agency says wolf, which prefers to den beneath root systems of very large, old trees, is not currently endangered

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August 22, 2023 (press release) –

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing today that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not warranted at this time.  

Alexander Archipelago wolf is a subspecies of North American gray wolf. It is found along Southeast Alaska and British Columbia’s coastal mainland and larger island complexes. It is generally smaller and darker than continental gray wolves and prefers to den beneath the root systems of very large, old trees. The extensive review process found that Alexander Archipelago wolf is not currently endangered throughout its range, nor likely to become so within the foreseeable future. 

To determine if listing was warranted, the Service conducted a species status assessment using the best available Western science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Southeast Alaska Indigenous peoples. Conservation biology principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation were applied to identify Alexander Archipelago wolves’ ecological requirements for survival and reproduction at the individual, population, and species levels.   

The ESA allows citizens to petition the Service to add species to the list of threatened and endangered species, remove species from the list, and to reclassify species already on the list. When the Service receives a petition to list a species under the ESA, it is required to make a finding as to whether there is substantial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. If the preliminary finding is positive, the Service conducts a species status assessment to determine if listing is warranted. The Service received a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf and subsequently published a 90-day finding that the petition contained substantial information indicating listing may be warranted. 

The purpose of the ESA is to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems on which they depend. The ESA is extraordinarily effective at preventing species from going extinct and has inspired action to conserve at-risk species and their habitat before they need to be listed as threatened or endangered. More than 99 percent of all listed species are still with us today since the ESA was signed into law in 1973. As a result of the ESA, more than 100 species of plants and animals have been delisted based on recovery or downlisted from endangered to threatened. https://www.fws.gov/esa50  

The notice will publish in the Federal Register on August 23, 2023. For more information, including supporting materials, please visit www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-R7-ES-2023-0109.  

More: Alexander Archipelago Wolf 12-month Not Warranted Finding Questions & Answers

For more details on the ESA listing process, go to: https://www.fws.gov/program/listing-and-classification/what-we-do.  

To learn more about the Alexander Archipelago wolf, visit: https://www.fws.gov/species/alexander-archipelago-wolf-canis-lupus-ligoni

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov

 

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