Gray wolves no longer endangered

February 21, 2008 11:04:04 AM PST
Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies are being removed from the endangered species list. The move follows a 13-year restoration effort that led the animal's population to soar. An estimated 1,500 wolves now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. That's a dramatic turnaround for a predator that had nearly vanished from the United States in the early 20th century.

The removal from the endangered list was announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Interior. The loss of federal protection allows states to move forward with public hunts for the animals, possibly as soon as this fall.

Environmental groups have said they will sue the federal government to keep the animal listed.

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