The gray wolf loses its protection under the federal Endangered Species Act on January 27, and how to classify the canines will be left to individual states, the Ashland Current
A ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December states that the species will no longer be considered federally endangered or threatened in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment - a region that includes Wisconsin. Michigan and Minnesota, as well as parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and the Dakotas.
Now, the decision to protect the wolf is up to state governments. The news outlet reports that Wisconsin regulations will treat the wild as a protected wild animal, which means that no one can kill one without authorization. According to UPI
, there are about 782 wolves in Wisconsin.
"Gray wolves are thriving in the Great Lakes region, and their successful recovery is a testament to the hard work of the Service and our state and local partners," Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said in a statement, the news outlet reports. "We are confident state and tribal wildlife managers in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin will effectively manage healthy wolf populations now that federal protection is no longer needed."