Gray Wolf Reinstated as Endangered Species

July 23, 2008 07:02 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A federal judge sided with environmentalists on Friday, granting an injunction to those who had challenged the wolves’ removal from the endangered species list.

30-Second Summary

U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy issued a 40-page statement in which he sharply criticized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision on March 28 to remove the animal from the endangered species list.

Molloy wrote that the delisting was arbitrary and capricious, and that it “demonstrated a possibility of irreparable harm” to the species, according to the Los Angeles Times. He also said that the injunction “ensures the species is not imperiled” while the case undergoes further litigation.

The delisting would have made the state governments of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana responsible for managing gray wolves living in the northern Rockies.

Fearing that the wolves would be devastated by unchecked hunting and arguing that those states don’t have adequate laws to protect them, a dozen environmental groups had sued the U.S. government to reverse the delisting.

The delisting came after complaints from ranchers that the wolves had been attacking and killing their livestock. Since the gray wolves were placed on the endangered species list in 1972, the population has risen to approximately 1,500 wolves.

State officials argued that they could maintain wolf populations despite the fact that in many areas the animals could be shot at will. But opponents to the delisting contended that unchecked hunting would undo population gains and return the species to the brink of extinction.

Headline Link: ‘Gray Wolves Get Back Their Endangered Species Status, for Now’

Background: The road to the lawsuit

Opinion & Analysis: The pros and cons of delisting the gray wolf

Against delisting
For delisting

Reference: Defenders of Wildlife


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