'Research hunt' for wolves dropped as feds balk

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August 16, 2010 7:23:13 AM PDT
Wildlife officials are dropping their proposal for a "research hunt" for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Instead, they are considering proposing a possible "conservation hunt" to trim the predators' population in the name of reducing livestock attacks.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks attorney Bob Lane said Friday his agency could not justify carrying out a hunt in the name of research since the goal would have been to reduce the wolf's population, not study it.

Lane says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would not condone such a proposal. Idaho also has been considering a research hunt.

A court ruling last week put 1,367 wolves in the region back on the endangered list.