Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gray Wolfs
Environmentalists are going to court.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Renewed killing of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains prompted an environmental lawsuit on Monday, two months after the U.S. government declared these animals no longer needed protection.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Missoula, Montana, asks for reinstated protection for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. government announced on February 21 it was ending protection for this group of gray wolves, and that decision became effective on March 28.

Since then, conservation groups said in the suit, dozens of gray wolves have been killed in the three states.

"Wolves have not yet recovered," said Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which was among those groups seeking renewed federal protection for the species.

"Biologically, you need several thousand wolves in connected populations between Yellowstone (national park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) and Canada to achieve what scientists and geneticists believe is true recovery," Willcox said by telephone. "This plan calls recovery good at 300 animals."

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