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Gray wolf officially off endangered species list

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Minnesota DNR Wolf Management Zones

DULUTH, MN-- As of Monday, the gray wolf species is officially off the U.S. endangered and threatened species list.

"And are now managed under state and tribal authorities. So some of those new laws take effect," said Dan Stark, a Large Carnivore specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has had a wolf management plan since 2001.

The hope is to keep the population at no less than 1,600.

"That's basically if we are ever at or are approaching that level that we'd want to figure out why the population is in decline," said Stark.

According to the DNR, wolves being de-listed means they can be killed to protect livestock and pets but only under certain circumstances.

"In the Northeastern part of the state there is a wolf management zone A, in that zone, there's more protection for wolves but still the allowance to take wolves that are an immediate threat," added Stark. "Then the remainder of the state zone B there's more flexibility."

Minnesota DNR officials say getting the wolves de-listed means the population is steady and they hope to keep it that way.

"This has been a real, successful conservation achievement. You know, wolves at one point were only a few hundred wolves that were left in the lower 48 states," said Stark.

Minnesota DNR officials say they aren't planning on a wolf hunting season.

The Wisconsin DNR says they will have a wolf hunting season in November 2021.

We did reach out to the Howling for Wolves conservation group for comment, we did not hear back by news time.

For more information on the wolf management plan click here.

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Emma Quinn

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