Yesterday, the Trump administration announced that gray wolves in the lower 48 were going to be stripped of their endangered species protections, turning over their management to state and tribal entities. State management of wolves in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming has already proven to be detrimental to the species, with liberated hunting and trapping regulations regularly enacted. Lawsuits against the delisting are likely.
By the mid-20th century, wolves were almost hunted, trapped, poisoned and harassed to extinction. After receiving protections under the Endangered Species Act, the population rebounded to 6,000 gray wolves in the lower 48. The wolves are largely clustered in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Western Great Lakes region, occupying just a fraction of their historic range, which extended across the country. Environmentalists have been calling for a continuation of the species’ federal protections until the population is recovered in a larger range.
Read more from NPR here.