U.S. wolves got a reprieve this week, though only a tiny one, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the comment period on its proposal to remove protections for nearly all US wolves. Meanwhile, the gunfire thundered across the Northern Rocky Mountains where hunters are killing wolves no longer listed as endangered.
Two years of sport hunting have taken a toll on the gray wolves in the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains. Their population is down by 34 percent after what one biologist satirically calls a “robust” hunting season.
Gray wolves, all but de-listed from the Endangered Species Act protections through a series of government steps this year, have won a reprieve. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official, the government will be withdrawing its declaration that the animals are fully recovered.
The move, reported by the Associated Press and various conservation groups, follows a federal court decision this summer that sided with environmentalists arguing that the wolves need continued protections.