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Endangered Wolves Make a Comeback

The North American gray wolf, wiped out at Yellowstone National Park in the 1930s, is thriving once again after being reintroduced less than a decade ago. Now the government is moving to end federal protection for the wolf under the Endangered Species Act.

Only 38 species have been taken off the endangered species list since 1967. More than 1,200 species are still considered to be in peril. The wolf population in Yellowstone has grown more than five-fold -- to nearly 170 -- since their reintroduction in 1995. The recovery has been extraordinary, due in large part to the national park where its natural habitat has been protected, Arnold reports.

The region's ranchers, whose livestock are easy prey for the wolves, hope to see the wolves delisted as soon as possible. But some environmentalists want continued protection for the wolves.

NPR's Elizabeth Arnold reports on the wolves as part of a year-long series on the 30th anniversary of the act.

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Elizabeth Arnold
Elizabeth Arnold is a freelance reporter for NPR. From 2000 - 2004, she was an NPR national correspondent, covering America's public lands with a focus on the environment, politics, economics, and culture.