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December 03, 2020

Professor’s Paper on Wolf Protections Cited by the New York Times

Professor Dan Rohlf’s interdisciplinary paper, co-authored with Carlos Carroll, Bridgett VonHoldt, Adrian Treves, & Sarah Hendricks, was cited in the October 29, 2020, New York Times article describing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to remove federal protections for grey wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Professor Dan Rohlf’s interdisciplinary paper, co-authored with Carlos Carroll, Bridgett VonHoldt, Adrian Treves, & Sarah Hendricks, was cited in the October 29, 2020 New York Times article describing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to remove federal protections for grey wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Published in the peer-reviewed journal BioScience, Wolf Delisting Challenges Demonstrate Need for an Improved Framework for Conserving Intraspecific Variation under the Endangered Species Act, argues that FWS erroneously delisted gray wolves before adequately protecting the species’ genetic diversity that allows wolves to respond to threats such as climate change.

“We use the 2019 delisting proposal [of the grey wolf] to demonstrate that recent inconsistent implementation of the ESA’s mandate for the conservation of intraspecific variation undermines the conservation outcomes intended by Congress,” the paper asserts. “We propose a more consistent and transparent framework that coordinates the two elements of the ESA that authorize the conservation of intraspecific variation – the distinct population segment (DPS) and significant portion of range (SPR) clauses – while building on current agency guidance.”

“I enjoy working with scientists to address biological issues relevant to law and policy,” said Rohlf. “Effective conservation strategies require integrating law and science to achieve specific policy goals, and I hope articles like ours can show how cooperation across disciplines can lead to better outcomes in managing and protecting the environment.”