AUGUSTA — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public hearing on its recent proposal concerning the federally listed gray wolf tonight at the Augusta Civic Center.

In addition to proposing to delist the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf, the agency proposes to recognize the Eastern wolf, formerly a subspecies of the gray wolf, as a full species.

Current science indicates that the Eastern wolf, rather than the gray wolf, historically inhabited the Northeast, according to a news release from the agency.

The Eastern wolf is known to exist in eastern Canada and the Western Great Lakes region. Though the agency has confirmed occasional dispersing wolves from Canada, it said in the news release it “has no evidence indicating the presence of a wolf population in the Northeast.”

The agency seeks information from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry and other interested parties on threats, population size and trends and other factors that could affect the long-term survival of the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf.

The agency will explain its proposal and answer questions from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Oral comments will be accepted during the public hearing from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Additional information is  available at