Following over two years of deliberation, the federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) announced that the at-risk status of eastern wolves has worsened. On May 4, 2023 COSEWIC released their decision to assign the eastern wolf, now considered a unique species (Canis c.f. lycaon), threatened status in Canada. Prior to this latest decision, eastern wolves were designated a grey wolf subspecies of ‘special concern‘ in 2001.
The management plan required for species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) has been overdue since 2008. SARA requires that a recovery plan be released within 2 years of a species being listed as threatened. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed recovery strategy.
Currently, both provincial committees on species at risk in Ontario (COSSARO) and Quebec are unable to assess the status of eastern wolves as a unique species due to lack of members and budget cuts, respectively. Sign up as a Wolf Defender to learn about ways you can help ensure eastern wolves gain increased protection despite these obstacles.
Read COSEWIC’s press release here.