In making this determination, the agency rejected petitions from wildlife conservation groups to list the animals under the ESA in the Northern Rockies and the Western U.S.
The decision, which maintains the status quo, stems from a comprehensive analysis that incorporated best available data from federal, state and tribal sources, according to FWS.
After modeling various threats to the wolves, such as human-induced mortality and diseases, the agency concluded that the wolves are not at risk of extinction in the U.S. West.
Gray wolves are currently deemed endangered under the ESA in
44 states, and they are considered threatened in Minnesota and under state jurisdiction in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and portions of eastern Oregon and Washington, FWS said.
Agency data as of the end of 2022 indicated there were about
2,797 wolves distributed across at least 286 packs in seven U.S. West states.
“This population size and widespread distribution contribute to the resiliency and redundancy of wolves in this region,” FWS said in a statement.
Read more from our colleague Sharon Udasin at TheHill.com.