A coalition of wildlife protection groups, including The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live and Friends of Animals and Their Environment, filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking to put the gray wolf back on the Endangered Species List in the Western Great Lakes. The suit was filed in federal district court for the District of Columbia.
Jonathon Loworn with HSUS says in the short time since the protections have been removed, hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of wolves paving the way “for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp says when the wolf was delisted in January of 2012 the “population had recovered and grown to eight-times delisting goals.” She says the state has successfully moved out of wolf recovery mode and into wolf management mode. “We intend to continue managing wolves in ways that work for Wisconsin, socially and biologically. But to do so, management authority needs to remain in the hands of the state. We must maintain the authority to employ tools, like a wolf hunt, when populations and depredations peak as they have this year. Increased conflicts with domestic livestock and pets benefit neither humans nor wolves.”
HSUS and the other groups were successful in getting the courts to reinstate ESA status for the wolf in 2005, 2008 and 2009. U.S. Fish & Wildlife established the current delisting in December of 2011.
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