Delisting the gray wolf does not mean that it will be left to its own devices. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must monitor the wolf populations in the delisted areas for at least five years and can “emergency relist” the species if necessary. The FWS also requires that all key states within a recovery zone submit biologically acceptable wolf management plans before the species is removed from the list. The plans deal with issues such as population control, compensation for loss of livestock, recreational hunting, and permission to defend property. “There’s no requirement for state management plans in the Endangered Species Act,” comments Midwest recovery coordinator Ron Refsnider. “We’re imposing that because of the wolf’s unique situation.”

U.S. species removed from the Endangered Species List:

Brown pelican, 1985
American alligator, 1987
Arctic peregrine falcon, 1994
Gray whale, 1994
American peregrine falcon, 1999
Aleutian Canada goose, 2001