Activists Howl as Wolves Leave Endangered List

Gray wolf population threatens livestock, officials say
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2007 5:45 AM CST
This handout file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a 130-pound gray wolf as it watches biologists in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., after being captured and fitted with a radio...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Federal officials plan to pull gray wolves from the endangered species list for the first time in more than 20 years, the AP reports. Hunters will be allowed to reduce the growing wolf population, which threatens livestock in the Northern Rockies—but activists vow lawsuits to block the plan, saying that 2,000 to 3,000 gray wolves are necessary to keep the species from vanishing.

The US Fish and Wildlife regulations would let hunters kill the wolves as long as their population stays above 450; less than 300 and they would be relisted as endangered. One environmental attorney decries the plan as dangerous: "This approach of managing wolves to the knife-edge where they say the population would be at risk of extinction is simply crazy,” he said.