KUNM

Groups Sue Feds Over Wolf Recovery Plan

Jan 30, 2018

A coalition of conservation groups sued the federal government Tuesday over its new plan for recovery of the endangered Mexican grey wolf. The lawsuit says the plan won’t ensure that the animal thrives in the southwest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting the Mexican grey wolf from threats like illegal killings, a lack of suitable land and inbreeding.

“The Trump plan for the Mexican grey wolf doesn’t solve any of these problems,” said attorney Elizabeth Forsyth who’s with Earthjustice, one of the groups that signed on to the lawsuit.

The plan calls for delisting when a population of 320 wolves can survive in the wild in the U.S. without protection, with another couple hundred in the wild in Mexico. But wolf experts suggest that’s just not enough wolves and that there are other possible locations for their recovery in the U.S.

“What needs to happen,” Forsyth said, “is to send this plan back to the Service to use the best available science and set a population target that will actually ensure that the population will remain viable over time.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife began the work to recover the Mexican Grey wolf in the 1970’s. They say it could take at least another 25 to 30 years.