Groups ask court to restore protections for US gray wolves

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BILLING, Mont. (AP) – Wildlife advocates on Thursday asked a federal court to overturn a U.S. government decision that removed endangered species law protections for wolves across much of the country.

Two coalitions of advocacy groups have filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in northern California to restore safeguards from a predator revered by wildlife watchers but feared by many ranchers.

The Trump administration announced just days before the Nov. 3 election that the wolves were considered to be well. They had been wiped out in much of the United States by the 1930s during government-sponsored poisoning and trapping campaigns.

A residual population in the western Great Lakes region has since expanded to some 4,400 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

More than 2,000 occupy six states in the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest after the reintroduction of wolves from Canada to Idaho and Yellowstone National Park from 1995 onwards. Protections for wolves in the Rockies were raised in the last decade and their hunting is authorized.

But wolves remain absent across much of their historic range, and groups that sued Thursday said continued protections were needed for wolf populations to continue to grow in Colorado, California and the rest of the world. other states.

Some biologists who have reviewed the administration’s plan to remove wolf protection said it lacked scientific rationale.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuits include the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, the Humane Society of the United States, and many other environmental and rights groups.

A small population of Mexican gray wolves in the southwest remains protected as an endangered species. Wolves in Alaska have never been under federal protection.

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