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Oregon Recommends Removing Wolves From List of Endangered Species

October 29, 2015

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has formally recommended removing gray wolves from the state endangered species list.

The agency released its recommendation to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday. The Commission will vote on the recommendation next month.

The wolf population in eastern Oregon reached the conservation target for delisting in January. The state delisting process was triggered when eastern Oregon reached four breeding pairs of wolves for three consecutive years.

Removing wolves from the state endangered list won't change how they're managed according to Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

However, the same population threshold that triggers delisting also opens the door to new rules on killing problem wolves under the Oregon Wolf Management Plan. The next phase of the plan allows the state to kill wolves after two confirmed attacks on livestock rather than four, and it allows ranchers to kill wolves that are chasing livestock.

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A new study from Washington State University found killing wolves that attack wildlife increases future livestock attacks.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife