California considers listing wolf as endangered

FRESNO, Calif. — State scientists say the lone wolf roaming far Northern California should be considered a candidate for listing under the state endangered species act.

A report from the Department of Fish and Game released Wednesday called the presence of the gray wolf that crossed the border from Oregon last December an "historic and a scientific certainty." The report says that other wolves could migrate to form breeding populations.

"Whether one is for or against listing wolves as threatened or endangered ... one must acknowledge the fact that the arrival of wolf OR7 in our state was an historic event," said Jordan Traverso, deputy director of communications for the department.

The report was presented Wednesday to members of the California Fish and Game Commission, which will decide in October whether to accept the recommendation.

The agency acted on a petition for listing filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups. Some groups at the meeting urged commission members to consider that listing the wolf would help protect it from poaching, which has been a problem in other Western states.

State wildlife biologists believe that the lone wolf who crossed into Northern California from Oregon last December could eventually be joined by others. Favorable terrain and the presence of mule deer and other food sources could sustain a pack, biologists said.

— Associated Press

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