BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal wildlife officials have rejected a petition from advocates who sought to reclassify gray wolves as a threatened species in most of the U.S.
Gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 are classified as endangered, which is more protective than a threatened designation. Advocates hoped a change to threatened would pre-empt intervention from members of Congress who want to lift federal protections altogether.READ MORE: Witt Jr. Hits 3 Doubles, Ups Extra-Base Count, KC Tops Twins, 7-3
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a Tuesday notice that the petitioners didn’t sufficiently back up their claims that wolves remain at risk due to disease and other factors.READ MORE: Fort Snelling Renovations Honor The Land's 10,000-Year History
The petition was filed in January by more than a dozen groups including The Center for Biological Diversity.
Wolves in Minnesota already are listed as threatened. The animals are not federally protected in the Northern Rockies.MORE NEWS: Randolph Memorial Event For 6-Year-Old Eli Hart Aims To ‘Start The Healing'
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)