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Lawsuit filed to protect Great Lakes wolf population

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

The Humane Society along with several other groups filed a lawsuit in federal court today to put a stop to gray wolf hunting in the Great Lakes Region.

The lawsuit is against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the Endangered Species List.

If its successful, the lawsuit would place the wolves back under federal protection.

Since gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region were removed from the list  in 2011,   Wisconsin and Minnesota wildlife managers to reinstated game hunting and trapping seasons for the wolves.

In their press release, the Humane Society says more than 500 wolves were killed in Wisconsin and Minnesota in less than four months last year.

Michigan lawmakers passed a law last December that would allow the hunting gray wolves. A hunting season would have to be approved by the state's wildlife commission.

The activists argue these wolf hunts could hurt population numbers.

More form the Humane Society's press release:

“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS. “This decision rolls back the only line of defense for wolf populations, and paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”

It is estimated that their are nearly 700 gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Humane Society is leading a separate referendum campaign in Michigan to keep a wolf hunting season from moving forward.

- Marlon Philips, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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