The Humane Society of the United States and a coalition of other groups have filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the protections of the Endangered Species Act, the Humane Society announced today.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most recent decision to delist wolves became effective last year, after multiple previous attempts to delist wolves were struck down by the courts over the course of the last decade.
“The decision threatens the small, fragile population of gray wolves by confining wolves to a tightly confined area of the Great Lakes region – where state wildlife managers are intent on reducing wolf numbers and halting natural expansion of the species – and thus preventing the wolves’ recovery throughout a meaningful portion of its historic range,” the Humane Society wrote in a news release announcing the suit.
Following delisting last year, both Minnesota and Wisconsin established wolf hunting seasons. Minnesota hunters and trappers took a total of 412 wolves, and Wisconsin hunters and trappers took 117. Minnesota’s pre-hunt wolf population was estimated at 3,000, and Wisconsin’s was about 850. Minnesota wildlife officials say wolves in the state are a renewable natural resource.