On November 9, 2015, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) voted to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from protection under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. The Commission meeting lasted almost 10 hours, with more than 100 people providing public testimony. The decision was the result of a 4-2 vote by the Commission.
The decision follows the recommendation of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to delist the wolf, as we reported here. The wolf delisting will not impact the management of the species under the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (Wolf Plan), which emphasizes non-lethal deterrence measures to resolve wolf and livestock conflicts. Under the Wolf Plan, ranchers can only shoot a wolf caught in the act of wounding, biting, killing or chasing livestock.
In addition, the Commission’s decision will not impact how the majority of Oregon’s approximately 83 wolves are managed. The gray wolf is still listed under the federal Endangered Species Act in the western two-thirds of the state.