Gray Wolf Petition Fails|to Move Agency to Act

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The gray wolf in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will not get a full status review under the Endangered Species Act, according to a finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

      The agency determined that a petition submitted by five private citizens did not have enough information for a “reasonable person” to conclude that there were breeding pairs, and thus a “population,” in the region, that might need protection.
     In addition to requesting protection for the gray wolf, the petitioners asked the agency to “regulate the commerce or taking, and treat as endangered” several animals that resemble the gray wolf, in the same five states. The petitioners asked that coyotes, eastern wolves and hybrids be treated as endangered, presumably so gray wolves will not be affected by people who may think they are disturbing, hurting or killing the non-endangered look-alikes. The Fish and Wildlife Service plans to address this commerce and taking separately, as it is not a petitionable action under the Endangered Species Act.
     In an April 2003 petition to list a Northern gray wolf distinct population segment, the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club concurred with the agency determination that there was no breeding population in the Northeast region.
     The agency is interested in information regarding the gray wolf in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, especially concerning breeding pairs.

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