Plaintiffs Defenders of Wildlife et al. seek a preliminary injunction to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves to prevent the intentional and unnecessary killing of 330 wolves that is scheduled to begin this fall. Idaho has authorized a wolf hunt beginning September 1, 2009; Montana’s wolf hunt commences September 15. Idaho has authorized the killing of 255 wolves—30 percent of the state’s most recently reported wolf population estimate—via hunting and will issue an unlimited number of hunting tags to try to ensure that quota is filled. The hunt threatens to virtually eliminate wolves from key connecting corridors between isolated subpopulations. This extraordinarily high level of killing will fracture the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf “metapopulation,” greatly hindering wolf dispersal and, with it, the possibility of real wolf recovery. Indeed, the best available science demonstrates that the region’s wolf population, while rebounding, has not yet achieved recovery. Reducing the population by such a significant amount will ensure that such recovery remains elusive.
Read the Memorandum in Support of Motion For Preliminary Injunction