Wolves in danger

Lawsuits fly as the gray wolf is stripped of federal protections

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Animal-welfare and conservation organizations around the nation are prepping for legal battles as the federal government drops protections for gray wolves.

The animals in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes regions lost their endangered-species listing last week amid the cries of a bevy of environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity.

CBD officials note that more than 100 wolves were killed by hunters during a four-month period last year when the animals were temporarily delisted.

“We fear that once again wolves will be wantonly slaughtered before a court can rule,” said CBD’s Michael Robinson.

Wolf protections have been in place since the ’70s to restore a population that had hit the brink of extinction. Conservationists disagree with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s claim that the species has recovered sufficiently.