BILLINGS, Mont. – Federal wildlife officials have asked a judge to put gray wolves in the Northern Rockies back on the endangered species list — a sharp reversal from the government’s prior contention that the animals were thriving.
Attorneys for the Fish and Wildlife Service asked U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula to vacate the agency’s February finding that more than 1,400 wolves in the region no longer needed federal protection.
The government’s request Monday follows a July injunction in which Molloy had blocked plans for public wolf hunts this fall in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho pending resolution of a lawsuit by environmentalists.
“What we want to do is look at this more thoroughly,” Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Sharon Rose said. “We definitely have a lot of wolves out there, but we need to address some of (Molloy’s) concerns in a way that people feel comfortable with.”
At issue is whether a decade-long wolf restoration program has reversed the near-extermination of wolves, or if — as environmentalists claim — their long-term survival remains in doubt due to proposed hunting.
Feds ask to put wolves back on endangered list – MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Sep 23, 2008
“The grey wolf or gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf or simply wolf, is a mammal of the order Carnivora. The gray The grey wolf is the largest wild member of the Canidae family and an ice age survivor originating during the Late Pleistocene around 300,000 years ago” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf
image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf