Endangered species protections for California gray wolves will stay in place even as the animal's population rebounds. The state has a new plan for managing wolves.
Jordan Traverso is with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife which released the plan. She says it drops earlier language to remove protections under California's endangered species act once the animal's population hits 50.
"As wolf populations rebound in the state, it's possible that the plan would be revised to include that criteria," says Traverso. "But I just think the uncertainty of what's going to happen really led us to not want to put a specific threshold in the plan."
California's gray wolves were killed off in the 1920s but started returning from Oregon in 2011, prompting state officials to draw up its plan.
Traverso says about seven wolves are believed to be living in Lassen and Siskiyou counties.
"We're talking about a very small amount of wolves right now that frankly we're excited about the story of having wolves come back to the state because this is their original habitat," says Traverso.
Wolf advocates say it's too early in the wolf's return to start considering removing protections.
Hunting and livestock groups are critical, saying the predator will kill valuable deer, sheep and cattle.