Judge asked to rein in wolf killing

May 29, 2008 3:30:45 PM PDT
The fate of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies is now in the hands of a federal judge in Montana, after advocacy groups argued in court that the animal's recovery is threatened by their recent removal from the endangered list. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho plan public hunts for the region's 1,500 wolves this fall.

Attorneys for a dozen environmental and animals rights groups on Thursday urged U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy to block the states' plans. They asked for an injunction to restore endangered species protections for wolves, pending resolution of a lawsuit over the issue.

An attorney for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service argued the Northern Rockies' surging wolf population needs to be culled because of increasing numbers of livestock killed by the predators.