Today a judge in Helena, Montana placed gray wolves in Montana and Idaho back on the endangered species list. US district Judge Donald Molloy said during the ruling that the entire wolf poplulation of the Rocky Mountains either must be listed as an endangered species or removed from the list, but the protections for the same population can't be different for each state.
Gray wolves were originally put on the endangered species list in 1974 when they were nearly extinct (now there are more than 1,700.) Wolves were taken off the list February 21st 2008. When wolves were taken off the list in Montana and Idaho the protection intact in Wyoming, where the law considers it hostile to the animals' environment. In April 2009, US Fish and Wildlife Service turned over wolf management to the federal government in Montana and Idaho. Following that, wildlife advocates, such as Defenders of Wildlife sued federal government after US Fish adn Wildlife Service decision in 2009. They argued that the governments decision would set a precedent allowing the government to have a no restrictions pass to choose what animals will be protected and where they will be protected.
Scheduled hunts that were to have taken place in the fall are now put to a hault in Montana and Idaho. Wildlife regulators in Montana, set on trying to reduce wolf population numbers, put the wolf- hunt quota to 186 last month, more than doubling the number from last year. Doug Honnold, an attourney for one of the plaintiffs suing the government, said today "For today, we are celebrating that the approach we thought was flatly illegal has been rejected. The troubling consequences for the Endangered Species Act has been averted and the wolf hunts are blocked,"