Mexican Wolf Decision Order

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March 30, 2018 – A federal judge rejected provisions in a 2015 federal management rule that unlawfully imposed roadblocks to recovery of the endangered Mexican wolf. The rule arbitrarily limited the lobos’ population numbers, banned them from needed recovery habitat, and loosened the rules against killing the animals in the wild. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps ruled that imposing these measures violated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s duty under the Endangered Species Act to recover the Mexican wolf from its current status as one of the most endangered mammals in North America. There were once thousands of the wolves living in America’s Southwest and now there are only about 100 left.

The judge particularly faulted government officials for disregarding the advice of expert scientists who warned that the new management rule would hinder the Mexican wolf’s recovery. Judge Zipps said, “This case is unique in that the same scientists that are cited by the agency publicly communicated their concern that the agency misapplied and misinterpreted findings in such a manner that the recovery of the species is compromised. To ignore this dire warning was an egregious oversight by the agency.”

The judge ordered government officials to revise the rule in response to her ruling and ordered the parties to the case to report back in 30 days with a proposed deadline for that revision. 

Download PDF: Mexican Wolf Decision Order

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