At the beginning of September in Idaho the first federally sanctioned wolf hunt in 36 years got underway, and since then hunters have reported killing four wolves. Conservationists had been holding out hope that a judge would issue an injunction to halt the hunt on the grounds that the Rocky Mountain wolf population hasn’t recovered enough to survive the hunts, but the judge has now ruled that the Idaho hunt can continue. A second wolf season will open in Montana in just a few days.
However, Judge Donald Molloy also wrote that the Fish and Wildlife Service, in continuing to list Wyoming wolves under the Endangered Species Act while delisting them in the two neighboring states, “has distinguished a natural population of wolves based on a political line, not the best available science.” That finding suggested that a coalition of conservation groups would have a good chance of prevailing when its argument for restoring the wolves’ endangered status gets a full hearing [Los Angeles Times].
80beats: For the First Time in 36 Years, Rocky Mountain Wolves Are in the Crosshairs Again
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Image: flickr / Fremlin