UPDATE: CPW releases final environmental impact statement of wolf reintroduction
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -With wolf restoration around the corner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is facing uncertainty.
CPW released its final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Under section 10-J of the Endangered Species Act, they have established an experimental population of gray wolves in Colorado; which is three weeks ahead of schedule. In addition, the 10-J rule will be in place for more than a month before the December 31st deadline (when the wolves are expected to be released) according to officials.
CPW says that management flexibility will increase once everything is finalized, leading to greater overall increase in restoration success.
More information regarding the CPW’s completed and published Final Wolf Restoration and Management Plan can be found here.
The CPW is unsure on where they will source wolves from and are looking at Wyoming to deliver. When looking at environmental conditions and prey Wyoming is the best option at the moment for donating wolves. Unfortunately, they do not want to cooperate with CPW and the US Fish and Wildlife; and current laws also prohibit sanctuaries to breed gray wolves for release.
Lindsey Grigg, an animal caretaker at CPW and Wolf Center, says:
“Biologists have had the most success with wild introductions rather than releasing from breeding facilities... that’s because breeding facilities would have captive born wolves- wolves born in human care. And so these wolves would not have the skills to hunt natural prey like deer and elk. So we would be setting them up for failure... Wolves that don’t know how to hunt natural prey may be more likely to hunt on natural prey like cattle.”
No other information is available at this time.
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