U.S. to reduce protections for gray wolves

Gray wolf.
Photo: John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Interior Department is expected to announce that it is lifting protections for gray wolves in the coming days, rules put in place in the 1970s following a period of widespread killings by farmers and ranchers, the Associated Press reports.

Between the lines: While the administration is going to argue that wolves have largely made a comeback from these killings, wildlife advocates are likely to push for federal protections to remain in place until wolves repopulate within their historic range, which spans across the country.

Trump administration seeks to roll back Endangered Species Act

Close-up of a sea otter swimming in is back close to Homer, Alaska
A sea otter in Homer, Alaska. Sea otters are listed as threatened on the Endangered Species List. Photo: Raffi Maghdessian/Getty

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency and NOAA proposed sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce protections for at-risk plants and animals, and make it easier to delist species.