BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge in Montana has ordered that gray wolves in the northern Rockies be returned to the endangered species list.
The preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy is expected to derail plans by Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to allow public hunts for the predator.
Wolf populations in the three states were removed from the endangered list in March following a decade-long restoration effort. Environmentalists sued to overturn the decision.
The region has an estimated 2,000 wolves. The population has been soaring and increasingly preying on livestock. But environmentalists say the number of wolves would quickly plummet with the hunts the states have planned.