On October 29, 2015, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced that it believes that the gray wolf (Canis lupus) has met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (Oregon ESA). Under the Oregon ESA, ODFW looks at the following five factors to determine if sufficient biological information exists to justify delisting: (1) the species is not now in danger of extinction in any significant portion of its range; (2) the species’ natural reproductive potential is not in danger of failure; (3) the species’ populations are not undergoing imminent or active deterioration within their range or habitat; (4) over-utilization of the species is not occurring; and (5) adequate protection programs exist to protect the species and its habitat in the future.
Based on these factors, ODFW determined that delisting is justified because wolves are represented over a large geographic area, the population is continuing to increase, wolf habitat is stable and wolf range is increasing, over-utilization is unlikely, and the Wolf Plan, which guides wolf management in Oregon, ensures protection of wolves in the future. ODFW estimates that the state now has 83 wolves living in 10 packs, with several breeding pairs.
Under the Oregon ESA, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) has the authority to list and delist species. ODFW will recommend delisting the gray wolf to the Commission at its meeting on November 9, 2015. The wolf delisting is the only item on the agenda. Written comments will be accepted until Friday, November 6 at 5 pm.