The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking to keep the gray wolf species’ protected status after successfully increasing the wolf population.

According to WDFW, the state's gray wolf population has grown nearly 28% each year since 2008, and hasn’t published a status report on the wolves since listing them as endangered back in 1980.

Based on 14 years of population growth, WDFW concluded that the species no longer meets the threat of extinction, or the state definition for a threatened species. 

The department does not recommend delisting the species, instead classifying them to a Sensitive status.

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A Sensitive classification means the species is “vulnerable or declining and is likely to become endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range within the state without cooperative management or removal of threats.”

WDFW states that wolves “remain vulnerable in western Washington and should continue to be managed for recovery within the state as a protected species.” 

7th-District State Representative Joel Kretz and 4th-District Congressman Dan Newhouse both support delisting the gray wolf species, stating that the wolf population threatens rural property owners.

You can leave a comment on the gray wolf species’ protected status here.

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