Biden backs end to wolf protections but hunting worries grow

Study Says Hunting, Poaching Reduce Wisconsin Wolf Numbers
Gary Kramer

FILE - This April 18, 2008, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf. As many as one-third of Wisconsin's gray wolves likely died at the hands of humans in the months after the federal government announced removal of legal protections, according to a study released Monday, July 5, 2021.

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is sticking by former President Donald Trump’s decision to lift protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S.

But a top federal wildlife official on Friday told The Associated Press there is growing concern over aggressive hunting and trapping for the animals in the Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director Gary Frazier suggested the agency could intervene if wolf populations suffer declines that could again threaten them with extinction.

Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin have adopted rules intended to drive down the predator’s numbers.

Gray wolves in parts of the U.S. over the past several decades rebounded from widespread extermination in the 1900s.