Alexander Archipelago Wolf Will Not Receive ESA Listing

Prince of Wales Island. ©Tyson Call, licensed by cc 2.0
©Kris Larson Alaska Department of Fish and Game
©Kris Larson Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it will not extend Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections to the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) of southeastern Alaska and coastal British Columbia. FWS concluded that although some pockets of the population are declining, much of the population is considered stable. One pocket that FWS confirmed is in decline are the wolves residing on Prince of Wales Island, where numbers have decreased from 221 in 2013 to 89 in 2014. FWS concluded this area does not qualify for specific ESA protections, such as listing the area as a significant portion of the wolf’s range or classifying the population that resides there as a distinct population segment, as the area only makes up six percent of the total population. While the Alexander Archipelago wolf is currently considered a subspecies by FWS, the Administration acknowledges there is still uncertainty about the taxonomy of the population.

For more information, check out the Federal Register