BILLINGS, Mont. — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Friday he was upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered list in the northern Rocky Mountains and the western Great Lakes. Gray wolves would remain a protected species in Wyoming because the state’s law and management plans were not strong enough, he said. But management of the predator canine will be turned over to state agencies in Montana and Idaho and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah, in addition to the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. "The recovery of the gray wolf throughout significant portions of its historic range is one of the great success stories of the Endangered Species Act,” he said in a conference call from Washington, D.C. Wolves elsewhere remain on the list. Courts have overturned previous attempts to remove the wolf from the list.
AT A GLANCEGRAY WOLVES By the time wolves were protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, only a few hundred of them remained in the wild. →Diet: Carnivorous; a wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in one sitting. →Lifespan: Six to eight years. →Weight: 40-175 pounds.
About the endangered listOnce a species is removed from the endangered list, safeguards — including a five-year monitoring period — ensure the animal’s safety. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services