Friday, August 6, 2010

Federal Court Orders Relisting Gray Wolves as Endangered Species

Rocky Mountain wolves

The U.S Federal Court has recently ordered the Obama Administration to place the Rocky Mountain wolf (a subspecies of gray wolf endemic to North America) back on the endangered species list. The reason for this decision was because the federal government had relied on political considerations when de-listing the animals off the list in the states of Montana and Wyoming. However, the ones in Wyoming were left to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act. On April 2nd 2009, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service made a decision to remove gray wolf populations in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list but not the ones in Wyoming. The FWS stated that the wolves in Montana and Idaho were a "distinct population segment" under the Endangered Species Act. However, District Judge Donald Molloy of Montana ruled saying that if the FWS has determined the gray wolves in the northern Rockies are a distinct species population section, then no smaller unit can be considered when deciding to list or de-list the species. And with this decision underway, there will be no further continuation of authorized wolf hunts for the public in Idaho and Montana.

I feel very happy that the Federal Court has placed its foot down in deciding the fate of gray wolves in North America. Though they have managed to flourish since their reintroduction in Yellowstone back in 1995, they are still an endangered species and play a major role in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem in keeping the prey species in balance. It's also very interesting that a similar story was seen during former president George W. Bush's presidency. During that time, the Bush Administration aimed to remove all the wolf populations in eastern Washington, Oregon, and northern Utah off the endangered species list. Unfortunately for them, the Federal Court rejected the plan.

View article here

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