Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lawsuit seeks reclassification of Mexican wolves

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists have filed another lawsuit as they push for reforms of the federal government's troubled effort to reintroduce Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest.

The latest lawsuit centers on a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject a petition that sought the classification of Mexican wolves as an endangered subspecies or separate population of gray wolves.

The Center for Biological Diversity says specific protection is needed for wolves living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.

The center's wolf specialist, Michael Robinson, says Mexican wolves are the smallest, most genetically distinct of all gray wolves in North America. He says they're uniquely adapted to the Southwest.

The complaint follows a lawsuit filed in November that focuses on recommendations made by a scientific panel more than a decade ago. Environmentalists say the agency has failed to consider those recommendations.