Elk NetworkRMEF Favors Downlisting Wolves in Washington

General | May 23, 2024

Citing its largest modern-day population, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation agrees with recommendations by Washington state biologists and game managers to downlist gray wolves from a state endangered species to a state sensitive species.

“It is clear that listing the gray wolf as endangered is no longer warranted. The data supports the department’s conclusion that wolves are no longer ‘seriously threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range.’” said Karie Decker, RMEF director of wildlife and habitat.

In April 2024, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the state wolf population increased by 20 percent from 2022 to 2023 to an estimated 260 animals in 42 packs. According to WDFW, the latest tally is a minimum count, and the actual number of wolves is much higher.

“Wolves in Washington are neither declining nor are they particularly vulnerable; data collected by WDFW and the University of Washington confirms results from other countless studies, that wolves are an exceptionally resilient species that has exceeded de-listing recovery objectives in 67 percent of their range in Washington. In support of science-based wildlife management, RMEF encourages approval of WDFW’s recommendation to down-list wolves,” said Decker.

(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)