In his ruling, Judge Jeffrey White considered that the US wildlife management and protection agency “did not adequately take into account the threats to wolves outside their main populations in the Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains regions by withdrawing protection for the entire species,” according to what it reported. France Press agency”.
The Trump administration decided in October 2020 to strip gray wolves of their 1970s designation as a protected species because they were at risk of extinction at that time.
Although the decision was made under Trump, the Joe Biden administration has continued to defend the measure in court.
Colette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity noted “a desire by both Democratic and Republican governments to put an end to the wolves’ revival.”
“It’s frustrating because the law governing the status of protected species requires these animals to be restored so that they can fulfill their role in the ecosystem,” she added.
Since this measure came into effect in January 2021, the number of killed wolves has increased dramatically in some states, such as in Wisconsin, where more than 200 wolves were killed in less than three days, forcing the authorities to end the hunting season earlier than previously thought. Predictably, according to the New York Times.
According to the ruling, it is illegal to hunt wolves in 44 states, and those who do so face fines or imprisonment.
Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark said in a statement that the court’s decision was “an important victory for gray wolves and all those who value nature.”
“Restoring federal protection will allow these important animals to get the support they need to recover and thrive in the coming years,” added the association’s president, who has been a vocal opponent of Trump’s decision.
The number of wolves in the United States was about 250 thousand wolves before the arrival of European settlers, who eliminated these animals when they expanded westward. Their number is currently limited to about six thousand scattered throughout the United States except for Alaska.
Studies have confirmed the role of wolves in reducing the size of elk herds – which can graze a lot of grass – thus avoiding habitat destruction.