A consortium of environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List.
Now that federal protections have ended, Wyoming controls wolf management. The state’s plan allows the animals to be shot on sight throughout most of the state. In northwest Wyoming, there’s a limited hunting season, and the animals are protected for the rest of the year.
But Andrew Wetzler with the Natural Resources Defense Council says those protections won’t maintain a viable wolf population.
“Those protections are inadequate to let wolves migrate and join other wolf populations in a way that’s sufficient to conserve the animal by preserving their genetic diversity,” Wetzler said.
In a statement, Gov. Matt Mead defended the state’s wolf management plan. Wyoming has promised to maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs, and Mead has said he plans to keep the population well above that level.