Gray wolf (aka: Canis lupus)
Status: Colorado Endangered Species
Fun Fact: Wolves are caring, playful, and intelligent creatures that are devoted to their family (pack)
Wolves once roamed the snow-capped peaks and rim rock canyons of the West, but their howl has been missing from Western Colorado for 75 years. On November 3, 2020, Coloradans voted yes to Colorado Proposition 114, the Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative.
The measure was designed to require the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create and carry out a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves (with paws on the ground) by the end of 2023.
A bipartisan Senate Bill 23-256 would delay Colorado’s gray wolf reintroduction until a final federal ruling is made on whether wolves could be killed in some circumstances (a 10(j) rule). This new Bill, if passed, could delay wolf reintroduction until 2029.
A huge thank you to our Howling for Wolves partner:
Here are just some things you can do to howl for wolves:
Join us and our partners at Defenders of Wildlife for a webinar on how you can protect wolves and the Endangered Species Act on Endangered Species Day!
When: Friday, May 19, 2023, 12:00-1:00 pm
Where: On Zoom
Registration: Please register to save your spot!
Although the new Congress has just started, it’s already clear that defending wildlife will be a major challenge. Despite the global biodiversity crisis and the overwhelming success of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), imperiled species and the ESA are under massive attack. Lawmakers need to be encouraged to support new approaches and solutions to the environmental problems driving species extinction. Join Defenders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing wildlife in the new Congress and how you can use your voice to advocate for safeguarding biodiversity and saving our cornerstone environmental laws.
Then, we will dive into one of the first species to be listed on the ESA, the gray wolf, and their reintroduction to Colorado scheduled to begin this year. We will cover all the behind-the-scenes details since the 2020 ballot initiative directing their return, where we are now, and what is planned to unfold in the next five years to restore this native carnivore to a shared landscape.
- Working Circle’s Wolf Biology and Behavior informational webpage
- “Wolf restoration in Colorado shows how humans are rethinking their relationships with wild animals,” by Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, March 4, 2023
- Rocky Mountain Wolf Project’s Wolves in the West ebook
- Rocky Mountain Wolf Project’s A Grand Opportunity ebook
- National Geographic Kids – Gray Wolf webpage
- Captain Planet Foundation’s Quest for Wolf Coexistence (grades 8-12)
- Color our gray wolf coloring page and send to Chris
Listen and Watch:
- Colorado Howl with Karin Vardaman Podcast (4 minutes)
- Wolves of Colorado Speaker Panel (63 minutes) with wolf experts John Murtaugh (Rockies and Plains Representative with Defenders of Wildlife) and Karin Vardaman (founder of Working Circle):
- Canis Lupus (18 minutes):
- Meet the Animals – Gray Wolf (3 minutes)
- Meet the Real Wolf (3 minutes)