|Students at Timberline High have told US media they are penning a letter to President Biden over the pup deaths, a sign of the renewed urgency many Idahoans feel to see federal protections reinstated. (Photo by=Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Conservation groups have expressed outrage after the US Department of Agriculture revealed it killed eight young wolves in an Idaho forest. BBC reported that the pups were part of the Timberline pack, a group of wild wolves tracked and studied since 2003 by students at the local high school in Boise. Federal officials have defended their actions as a "necessary" measure in reducing the predators' population.
But local wildlife groups say wolves are "under attack" in the region. Earlier this year, lobbied by the livestock ranching community, Republican-dominated legislatures in Idaho and Montana passed measures that made it easier to hunt and kill wolves. Idaho's version of the law allows hunters to kill an unlimited number of wolves each year, up from a 15-wolf annual limit and triples the budget for population control efforts.
Environmental groups have warned the aggressive tactics will whittle down Idaho's wolf population by 90%, from roughly 1,500 to 150, which is the minimum limit enshrine by a 2002 conservation law. An official from the Agriculture Department confirmed federal agents had killed the animals in order to force the adult wolves to relocate. The Endangered Species Act of 1974 created federal protections that saved the species from extinction and led to sustained population recovery efforts. The Biden administration is reportedly considering relisting gray wolves on the Endangered Species List.