28 Apr 2008, 5:52pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Environmental, conservation groups sue over wolf delisting

BILLINGS, Mont. — Environmental and animal rights groups sued the federal government Monday to force it to restore endangered species status for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted federal protections for the estimated 1,500 wolves in March. It turned over management responsibilities to state officials in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for the first time in more than three decades.

The lawsuit alleges those states lack adequate laws to ensure wolves are not again eradicated from the region. At least 37 were killed in the last month.

The groups are seeking an immediate court order to restore federal control over the species until the case is resolved.

“We’re very concerned that absent an injunction, hundreds of wolves could be killed under existing state management plans,” said attorney Jason Rylander with Defenders of Wildlife, one of 12 groups that filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

Sharon Rose, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said her agency had not yet received the lawsuit and could not comment on the allegations.

Rose did say the agency’s decision was based on science that will hold up in court.

“We believe we made the right decision — that the wolf had recovered and the regulatory mechanisms are there” to ensure its continued survival, Rose said. … [more]



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