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08/23/2010

Gray Wolves Regain Protection under Endangered Species Act

Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone region are once again protected under the Endangered Species Act. On August 5, 2010, a federal judge in Montana overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2008 decision to remove the once nearly-extinct gray wolves from the endangered species list. This ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought against the FWS by the Sierra Club and other conservation organizations.
Gray Wolf 015[1] 

Only wolves in the greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies were taken off the endangered species list in 2008. Wolves in Wyoming had remained on the list due to shortcomings in the state's wolf protection plan. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy sided with the Sierra Club and conservation groups, ruling the law did not permit the United States to protect part of a species population in Wyoming while allowing hunting of the rest in other states. The decision cancels hunting seasons that were expected to begin in Montana and Idaho this fall. Gray wolves were once abundant in the United States before becoming nearly extinct from hunting and eradication programs sponsored by the government. The wolf was placed on the endangered species list in 1974, and since then, wolf populations have been recovering. Currently, there are more than 5,000 gray wolves in the lower 48 states.


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