ESA Status: Delisted due to Recovery
The Gray wolf (Canis lupus) was listed as an endangered species throughout the conterminous United States and as a threatened species in Minnesota in 1974. In 1995, a federal wolf recovery program was established in which 35 wolves were released into the State of Idaho and 30 more into Yellowstone National Park. Since that time, the number of wolves has increased dramatically in Idaho. For the most recent population estimate view the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wolf Monitoring Progress Reports.
The State of Idaho met biological recovery goals for delisting wolves as early as 2000, but legal challenges blocked the way to delisting. Congress intervened and delisted wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains through a rider attached to the FY2011 federal spending bill in April 2011. The delisting rider, added by Congressman Mike Simpson R-ID required the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reinstate the previous rule from 2009 that, for a short time had delisted wolves in Idaho and Montana, and portions of surrounding states. On May 5, 2011, wolf delisting in Idaho was made official.
Wolves are once again delisted in Idaho and are currently being managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game pursuant to the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. To view the plan visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game wolves in Idaho page.