Monday, February 10, 2014

Federal plan to take most gray wolves off endangered list halted due to questions about study

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposal to take gray wolves off the endangered list has been halted, at least temporarily, after the National Center for Ecological Analysis found the proposal was "not well supported by the available science" and "was strongly dependent on a single publication, which was found to be preliminary and not widely accepted by the scientific community," according to a release from the NCEAS, which said additional research is needed on the subject. To read the full report click here. (Associated Press photo by Dawn Villella) 

"In response to the findings, the Fish & Wildlife Service decided to once again seek public input before issuing final wolf rules," Raju Chebium reports for The Desert Sun in Las Vegas. "The previous public comment period ended in December and the administration planned to issue a final rule this year."

"Gray wolves in the lower 48 states have been under federal protection since 1967," Chebium notes. "In recent years, gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the western Great Lakes region were delisted after the government said those populations are rebounding. The Fish & Wildlife Service proposed delisting gray wolves throughout the lower 48 but keeping the Mexican gray wolf, found only in the Southwest, on the endangered-species list. Farmers, ranchers and hunters wanted the delisting, which was also backed by a number of congressional Republicans. Many Democrats and conservation groups opposed the rules, arguing that the wolves need more time to recover after being nearly wiped out in the continental U.S." (Read more)

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