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Gray Wolves Re-Listed

WILD LIFE A new court ruling aims to protect gray wolves. STAN TAKIELA—GETTY IMAGES

Gray wolves are going back on the endangered-species list. On February 10, a federal judge ruled that the animals still need protection.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the gray wolf from its endangered-species list in early 2021. “The gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery,” former Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said.

Environmental groups sued. They said the wolf’s numbers would keep shrinking. “There are still too many places where the population hasn’t come back,” Jason Rylander told TIME for Kids in April. He worked with Defenders of Wildlife, a group involved with the lawsuit.

In his recent ruling, Judge Jeffrey S. White wrote that the USFWS “failed to adequately 
analyze and consider” the impact of delisting gray wolves. The decision affects most of the continental U.S. It will not apply in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The wolves are already protected in Arizona and New Mexico.

Kitty Block is president of the Humane Society of the United States. She calls the ruling a “monumental victory.” Now, she says, the USFWS “must develop a plan for meaningful recovery across the species’ range.”

Stop and Think! How has TFK covered gray wolves before? Why did the editors decide to write an update now? How might they update the story in the future?