California wolves one step closer to endangered

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State wildlife commission moves forward with listing petition

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (October 3, 2012) – The California Fish and Game Commission voted in favor today of moving forward with a petition to add gray wolves to the state’s list of endangered species.

The following is a statement from Kim Delfino, California director for Defenders of Wildlife:

“As Californians, we take pride in our state’s wildlife heritage, and today we took a step closer to restoring an important native species that’s been missing from our landscape for many decades. With the arrival of OR-7 last year, there has been a lot of interest and excitement in seeing wolves back in California. Now we need to turn that enthusiasm into action by developing a thoughtful, science-based restoration plan for the return of wolves to suitable habitat in California.

“OR-7 is the first wolf in California in almost 90 years, and we want to make sure he’s not the last. With some careful planning, we hope that many more wolves will be able to thrive in our state. While wolves are currently protected under federal law, those protections will not be in place forever. If we want to see continued wolf recovery in California, then additional protection and leadership at the state level is essential.”

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Background:
With today’s decision, wolves will receive immediate protection under California’s Endangered Species Act while California Department of Fish and Game decides if long-term protections are warranted. A lone male wolf known as OR-7 dispersed into California from Oregon at the end of 2011, and is currently the only known wolf in California. Several environmental organizations filed a petition to protect gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act in March. A final listing decision will be made within 12 months.

Links:
Learn more about wolves from California Department of Fish and Game
Read CA DFG’s evaluation of the petition to protect gray wolves under California’s Endangered Species Act
Get the latest wolf updates on Defenders blog

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

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