U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

July 2001


Published in Carnivore Damage Prevention News No. 3. July 2001.


Wolves (Canis lupus) were once common throughout North America but were deliberately exterminated in the lower 48 United States, except in northeastern Minnesota, primarily because of depredations on livestock. Wolves remained abundant in areas with few livestock such as most of Canada and Alaska. Sixty years after being nearly exterminated, the gray wolf was listed under the United States Endangered Species Act (Act) in 1974. The combination of natural recovery in NW Montana, and reintroduction in central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone area (NW Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and SW Montana) has resulted in an expanding wolf population (Bangs et al. 1998). In this paper we discuss our attempts to minimize conflicts between wolves and livestock and to build human tolerance for restoring wolf populations.