"Wolves Could Be Removed From Endangered Species List"

"The U.S. government said on Friday it had struck a deal with wildlife advocates to remove some 1,200 wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list.

Federal protections could be lifted from the wolves if a federal judge signs off on a settlement agreement filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Montana.

The wildlife groups had sued to keep roughly 1,600 wolves in the Northern Rockies on the endangered species list.

Under the proposed agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 10 conservation groups, the estimated 1,200 wolves in Idaho and Montana would be delisted and management of the animals, including target population numbers and hunting quotas, would be handed back to those states.

The government in 2009 approved wolf-management plans by Idaho and Montana and removed federal protections in those states, which established public hunts.

But the Fish and Wildlife Service declined delisting in Wyoming because its plan would have allowed most wolves to be shot on sight."

Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters March 21, 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011