In a news from Statesman Journal, ODFW released a report stating there are factors that indicate wolf population is healthy and growing. “Significant information exists to justify initiating rulemaking to remove the gray wolf from the Oregon List of Endangered Species."
"Wolves are actually doing very well. And so the place we are right now is actually a good thing. Wolves are going to be continued to be maintained in this state in a healthy way I'm sure," said ODFW wolf program coordinator Russ Morgan in a report from Kuow.org. Currently, there are four breeding pairs of gray wolves in eastern Oregon and 77 wolves in the entire state, leading biologists to believe that there's only a small chance for the species to go extinct.
A final decision will be in place in August, but the commission can take the first steps toward the process later in April. Michelle Dennehy, communications coordinator for ODFW, said that it doesn't bring a huge change even if gray wolves will be removed from the state list; the wolves are still under the protection of the nation’s Endangered Species Act. Whether or not Oregon wolves will be delisted, they are still part of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, which encourages non-lethal measures to deal with wolves and only permits lethal measures when highly necessary.
According to Defenders of Wildlife, the estimated population of wolves in Alaska is around 7,000 to 11,200. In the Great Lakes region there are 3,700 while 1,675 are recorded in the northern Rockies.
Gray wolves were once commonly distributed in all of North America, but in the middle of 1930s, they were “exterminated in most areas of the United States.” Today, gray wolves can only be found in Alaska, Canada, northern Rockies, the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest. These wolves can be spotted and heard in their natural habitat at the Yellowstone National Park.