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Gray wolf being stripped of endangered species protections in USA

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: ‘U.S. wildlife officials plan to strip protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, reigniting the legal battle over a predator that’s run into conflicts with farmers and ranchers as its numbers rebound in some regions. Critics warn it’s too soon and could start an “all-out war” against the once-decimated species. The proposal would give states the authority to hold wolf hunting and trapping seasons… Wolves had previously lost federal protections in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, where hunters and trappers now kill hundreds of the animals annually…

Wildlife advocates and some members of Congress reacted with outrage to the latest proposal and promised to challenge any final decision in court… Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century. They received endangered species protections in 1975, when there were about 1,000 left, only in northern Minnesota. Now more than 5,000 of the animals live in the contiguous U.S…

John Vucetich, a wildlife biologist at Michigan Technological University, said many people “still find it difficult to live with wolves,” primarily because they kill livestock as well as deer and elk that people like to hunt, Vucetich said. If wolves are returned to state management, he said, “I do worry that some of the states could be overly aggressive and that wolves could fare worse than their current condition”.’ ‘SOURCE…

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