Although USFWS reports that there is no evidence of wolf breeding pairs anywhere in the Northeast, there have been a handful confirmed wolf sightings in that neck of the woods, two documented cases in Maine alone. So we know the corridor exists, the question is: What will the status of this animal be when they get across the border and in to the US? Can they be protected like other gray wolf populations until they're reestablished? This question leads to a deeper one, is the Eastern wolf a gray wolf at all?
Some researchers have presented clues that Canis lupus lycaon, the eastern timber wolf, may be a distinct species, Canis lycaon. If Canis lycaon is accepted as a distinct species, what will it's status be under the Endangered Species Act?
Regardless of it's "name," many speakers at the meeting that the Eastern wolf deserves federal protection until the species is naturally re-established. The USFWS hopes to announce results of the eastern wolf status review by the end of the year.
To read more about the meeting covered by Bangordailynews.com, please click here.
For tips on how you can participate in this discussion, please visit WolfWatcher.org's page dedicated to this issue.